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We can repeat 2013 heroics, says Halfpenny

Leigh Halfpenny and George North embrace at full-time against Italy in Principality Stadium.

We can repeat 2013 heroics, says Halfpenny

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Leigh Halfpenny believes Wales can repeat their heroics of 2013 and bounce back from a defeat to Ireland to go on and win the Guinness Six Nations crown.

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Seven years ago Wales were beaten 30-22 by the men in green in the opening round of the Championship. They then recovered to claim wins over France, Italy and Scotland before routing England 30-3 in Cardiff to seal the title on points difference.

That game in Cardiff is one Halfpenny, his fellow Wales team-mates that day, and the country’s supporters will never forget such was the raucous atmosphere.

In the 2020 Six Nations, Wales have beaten Italy and lost to Ireland and Halfpenny wants to see a response against France at Principality Stadium on Saturday.

“We have lost one, but it is not all over. We have to win every game now and that is the challenge. We are hugely excited about that,” the Scarlets full-back said.

“We are still in the hunt and have to focus game by game. We did it in 2013 after losing our first game at home to Ireland and then winning the rest.

“We are hurting from losing to Ireland this year and have to put in a performance against France.”

Halfpenny scored a try against Ireland in that 2013 game and went on to be named Six Nations player of the tournament as Wales sealed the title. He also topped the points scorers list.

In the summer he was also named British & Irish Lions player of the series in Australia as Warren Gatland’s side beat the Wallabies 2-1 in their Test series.

Now Halfpenny’s challenge is to get Wales’ class of 2020 to bounce back from another Ireland reversal after Wayne Pivac’s men were beaten 24-14 by Andy Farrell’s side in Dublin.

Saturday’s Principality Stadium clash with France will be Wales’ first meeting with their former defence coach Shaun Edwards who left after the World Cup to join Les Bleus.

“Shaun is a great coach to work with. What he did for Welsh rugby was fantastic. France will be physical and bring line speed,” said Halfpenny. “We have two weeks to work on our preparation to put a performance in. Working with Shaun brought my defensive game on immensely.

“He worked with me a lot and taught me a huge amount about the game. I have a lot to thank him for. It is exciting for us to play against his team. It will be weird to be facing him, but that is rugby – time moves on. It is exciting to be going up against his defensive style.

“We have a new group and we have identified things to look at, work on, and improve.

“France are a hugely exciting team across the park. Shaun being there will bring them structure in defence and we know how teams found it difficult to break us down.

“That is the challenge for us – identifying opportunities where we can break down their system and that is what we are working on in training.

“Principality Stadium is one of the best in the world to play in. We were disappointed in Ireland and want to put that right at home to France in front of our fans.”

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We can repeat 2013 heroics, says Halfpenny
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We can repeat 2013 heroics, says Halfpenny
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We can repeat 2013 heroics, says Halfpenny
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We can repeat 2013 heroics, says Halfpenny
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We can repeat 2013 heroics, says Halfpenny
We can repeat 2013 heroics, says Halfpenny
We can repeat 2013 heroics, says Halfpenny
We can repeat 2013 heroics, says Halfpenny
We can repeat 2013 heroics, says Halfpenny
We can repeat 2013 heroics, says Halfpenny
We can repeat 2013 heroics, says Halfpenny
We can repeat 2013 heroics, says Halfpenny
We can repeat 2013 heroics, says Halfpenny
We can repeat 2013 heroics, says Halfpenny
We can repeat 2013 heroics, says Halfpenny
We can repeat 2013 heroics, says Halfpenny
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