Leigh Halfpenny Bids Farewell to International Rugby

Wales great Leigh Halfpenny has declared his retirement from international rugby following his final match against the Barbarians on November 4.

Leigh Halfpenny Bids Farewell to International Rugby
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A Legendary Career of Rugby

In a remarkable 15-year career, the 34-year-old Halfpenny amassed 101 caps representing his country. His incredible journey comes to a close as one of the all-time greats of Welsh rugby.

Record Points Scorer

Leigh Halfpenny holds a prestigious place in the history of the Welsh national team as the third-highest points scorer for the Dragons, with a remarkable 801 points. He trails behind only the legendary Neil Jenkins and Stephen Jones.

A Bittersweet Farewell

In a heartfelt statement shared on an unspecified platform, Halfpenny expressed his emotions: “After having time to reflect after the Rugby World Cup campaign, it’s with a heavy heart that I’ve decide that it’s the ideal opportunity for me to move back from internationl rugby.”

Honoring the Dream

Halfpenny reflects on the honor of donning the Welsh jersey, stating, “It’s been such a huge honor and privilege to put on the Welsh jersey and represent my country over the new years.” He reviews how it was a young dream to play for Edges, and he leaves a treasure trove of marvelous recollections.

Family Support of Leigh Halfpenny

Halfpenny also acknowledges the unwavering support of his family, particularly his daughters. He shares, “To Jess and the young ladies, your help and love has meant the world, and to have the option to have Lily and Nora watch me play for Grains has been quite possibly of my proudest second.

Embracing the Future

While bidding farewell to international rugby, Halfpenny remains excited about the next chapter in his rugby career and promises to share details about his club future soon.

A Century of Caps

Leigh Halfpenny joins an elite group of Welsh men’s players who have achieved the milestone of earning 100 caps, securing his place as the seventh on the all-time list. Additionally, he made four memorable Test appearances for the British & Irish Lions, standing out as the player of the series in 2013.

Points-Scoring Legacy

With 801 points in his illustrious international career, Halfpenny stands as the third-highest points scorer in Welsh men’s rugby, behind only Neil Jenkins (1,049) and Stephen Jones (917). In his final appearance in a red jersey against the Barbarians, he aims to add to this remarkable tally.

A Coach’s Tribute

Wales senior men’s head coach Warren Gatland pays tribute to Halfpenny, acknowledging his brilliant career and unwavering commitment to the sport. Gatland highlights Halfpenny’s exceptional skills as a full-back, a superb goal kicker, and his unwavering professionalism. He expresses his gratitude for Halfpenny’s contributions to Welsh rugby and wishes him success in his future endeavors.

A Journey from U20 to Greatness

 

Halfpenny’s rugby journey started as a graduate of the Wales U20 team, where he played alongside future Grand Slam and British & Irish Lions teammates. He played a pivotal role in helping Wales finish fourth in the IRB U19 World Cup in 2007 and the inaugural World Rugby Under 20 Championship in 2008.

A Remarkable Career Path

Leigh Halfpenny Bids Farewell to International Rugby
15.09.23 – Wales Rugby Captains Run ahead of their Rugby World Cup game against Portugal – Leigh Halfpenny during training | Getty Image

Halfpenny’s path to greatness began in Gorseinon, where his grandfather, a former RAF serviceman, mentored him in the art of kicking. He initially honed his skills in the Ospreys academy before signing with Cardiff Blues. His regional debut at Ulster in May 2008 marked the beginning of an extraordinary journey.

A Stellar Debut

Halfpenny made his senior Wales debut at a young age, facing South Africa as a teenager. His early international career showcased his promise, and he continued to shine in the Six Nations, making a significant impact with his try-scoring ability.

Lions Triumphs

The British & Irish Lions provided another platform for Halfpenny’s talent. He featured in three Lions tours and played a pivotal role in securing a series victory in 2013. His goal kicking prowess set new records, and he received numerous accolades, including the title of BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year.

Club Success

Halfpenny’s club career was equally illustrious. He enjoyed success with Cardiff Blues and later joined Toulon, winning the Champions Cup with the French team. His journey was not without setbacks, including an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury that temporarily sidelined him.

A Triumphant Return

Despite his challenges, Halfpenny returned to the international stage and continued to make valuable contributions to the Welsh team. His 100th cap for Wales came in the Rugby World Cup warm-up match against England at Principality Stadium.

A Final World Cup Appearance

Halfpenny’s remarkable journey culminated with his selection for a third Rugby World Cup in 2023. He made his 10th World Cup appearance against Portugal, demonstrating his enduring passion and commitment to the sport.

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