Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Halfpenny's in Hurry to Make Lions Impact

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Halfpenny's in Hurry to Make Lions Impact

Article excerpt

LEIGH Halfpenny could be excused if he felt in a hurry to make up for lost time on next month's British and Irish Lions tour.

Wales star Halfpenny will arrive in Hong Kong, and then move on to Australia, as one of European rugby's hottest properties.

The Cardiff Blues full-back (pictured right) was named RBS 6 Nations player of the tournament this season after performing starring roles throughout a campaign that ended with Wales landing a fourth title in nine years.

He was a model of consistency, both with his goalkicking and general play, and would unquestionably have been among the first names inked into a 37-man squad by Lions head coach Warren Gatland.

It will be 24-year-old Halfpenny's second Lions tour, but he can only hope for better fortune than on the previous one in South Africa.

Selected for the 2009 mission to Springbok country, Halfpenny was allowed to join it late while he continued his recovery from a thigh problem.

But, after one appearance, an injury recurrence ended his tour before it had barely started. …

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