Full name Stephen Leigh Halfpenny
Born December 22, 1988, Swansea
Current age 25 years 221 days
Major teams Barbarians, British and Irish Lions, Cardiff Blues, Wales
Height 5 ft 10 in
Weight 187 lb
|British and Irish Lions||2013-2013||3||3||0||49||0||5||13||0||2||1||0||66.66|
|IRB Rugby World Cup||2011-2011||6||5||1||13||2||0||1||0||4||2||0||66.66|
|Test debut||Wales v South Africa at Millennium Stadium, Nov 8, 2008 match details|
|Last Test||England v Wales at Twickenham, Mar 9, 2014 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Most tries | Tournament list|
Leigh Halfpenny is one of the most talented and successful players of the modern era with his prolific boot and game-breaking ability having proved pivotal for Wales and the British & Irish Lions.
Halfpenny established himself as a major talent at age-grade level before making a sensational start to his regional rugby career with seven tries in his first six starts for the Cardiff-based Blues. His try-scoring feats led to a call-up into Wales' senior squad for the 2008 autumn internationals as a winger and he made his Test bow as a 19-year-old against world champions South Africa at the Millennium Stadium. He retained his place for the following match with Canada, scoring two tries, and was also in action as Wales slipped to a defeat at the hands of the All Blacks.
Selection for the British & Irish Lions' tour of South Africa followed in 2009 but he had to return home early due to the recurrence of a thigh injury without featuring in the Tests. Injuries would continue to plague the versatile Halfpenny but he retained the faith of Wales coach Warren Gatland and claimed a place in his plans for the 2011 World Cup.
He played a key part in their campaign scoring against Fiji and starting their quarter-final against Ireland having switched to the fullback role. He featured against France in the semi-finals but was unable to prevent them from crashing out.
Halfpenny entered the 2012 Six Nations as Wales' first choice fullback and provided 66 points as they swept the Grand Slam. He was central to proceeding again the following year as they made it back-to-back Six Nations titles and his outstanding form was rewarded with the Player of the Championship honour.
Further recognition would follow with selection for the Lions' tour to Australia in the summer of 2013. An ever-present during a thrilling Test series with the Wallabies, his kicking was crucial to the Lions' first Test victory but he saw a last-gasp penalty to win the second clash fall agonisingly short of the posts.
However, he shrugged off the disappointment to steer the Lions to victory in the decider and a first series victory since 1997. His 21-point haul - he also had a hand in creating tries for Jonathan Sexton and George North - was a Lions Test record, while his 49 points in the series beat his goal-kicking mentor Neil Jenkins' previous best of 41, set in 1997. His efforts in Sydney were rewarded with the Man of the Match honour and he would later be named the Player of the Series.