Leigh Halfpenny

Nationality: Welsh
Date of Birth: 22 December 1988 (26)
Height: 5ft 10in
Weight: 13st 8lbs
Team: Toulon

Following a rejection early in his career from the Osprey’s Academy for being too small, Halfpenny has gone from strength to strength to score over 400 points for his country, many of those off his boot.

On leaving the Ospreys, Halfpenny briefly joined Neath RFC and signed to the Cardiff Blues in 2007. He was quick to make his mark at the club in 2008, scoring seven tries in six games.

This drew the attention of new Wales head coach Warren Gatland, who selected Halfpenny for the 2008 autumn internationals. Halfpenny was just 19 at the time, but his age was no factor on the pitch. In his first game against the Springboks he put points on the board with a penalty and in his second he scored two tries against Canada.

In 2009 he was the youngest player to be selected by the British & Irish Lions since 1968. Unfortunately a thigh injury only allowed him to play one game on the tour. He waited until 2013 for another Lions opportunity and when it came he made the most of it. He started every game at full-back and scored five tries in three games, as well as kicking well.

Halfpenny is no stranger to World Cup rugby. In 2011 he was an integral part of the Welsh team that reached the semi-finals in New Zealand, starting the tournament at wing and moving to full-back for the more challenging games.

Halfpenny’s development as a world-class player has continued since that World Cup defeat. In the 2012 Six Nations he was the highest Welsh point-scorer and in 2013 he was named the Six Nations Player of the Tournament.

In club rugby, Halfpenny moved from the Blues to Toulon in 2014, making his debut after a short period of injury. The team won the European Champions Cup in 2015, with Halfpenny’s famous boot helping to secure a 24–18 win over Clermont.

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