Cap No 1060
Leigh Halfpenny is Wales’ third highest points scorer behind Neil Jenkins (1,049) and Stephen Jones (917).
He was a graduate of the same Wales U20 team as future Grand Slam and British & Irish Lions team mates Dan Biggar, Jonathan Davies, Rhys Webb, Justin Tipuric and Sam Warburton. He helped Wales finish fourth at both the IRB U19 World Cup in Northern Ireland in 2007 and the inaugural World Rugby Under 20 Championship in Wales in 2008.
Originally a member of the Ospreys academy, he moved to the capital to sign for Cardiff Blues ahead of the 2007/08 season and played 19 times for Cardiff RFC, scoring 178 points, before making his regional debut at Ulster in May, 2008. His senior Wales debut came on the wing against South Africa on 8 November, 2008, while he was still a teenager. He kicked a penalty in that game and marked his first Six Nations outing against Scotland in 2009 with a try and grabbed another in the 23-15 triumph over England.
He was the youngest player in the 37-strong squad selected for the 2009 British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa, but had his trip cut short through a thigh injury. He quickly recovered to establish himself as a key weapon in Warren Gatland’s Welsh side and he played in six of the seven games at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
His magnificent goal kicking helped Wales to secure another Grand Slam in 2012 (66 points) and to hang on to the title the following year (74 points), when he was named as the ‘Player of the Tournament’.
He was selected for a second Lions tour in 2013 and punished the Australians as he steered his side to a 2-1 series victory from full-back. He bettered Neil Jenkins’ Lions record for the most points in a Test Series with 49. He also broke the record for the most points in a Lions Test as he scored 21 in the third and final Test. He was voted BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year in 2013 and was runner-up to Andy Murray for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year title.
He ended the tour with an 89% goal kicking success as he landed 40 out of 45 kicks. He was picked for a third Lions tour in 2017, but saw fellow Welshman Liam Williams take over his Test place at full-back.
He scored two tries as Cardiff Blues won the Anglo-Welsh Cup at Twickenham in 2009 and grabbed another touchdown as they took the European Challenge Cup in Marseille a year later. He eventually left the Blues in 2014 to join Toulon. He won the Champions Cup with the French side at Twickenham in 2015, scoring 14 points in the win over Jonathan Davies’ Clermont Auvergne side.
He was ruled out of the World Cup later that year after rupturing an anterior cruciate knee ligament. He returned to action for Wales 13 months later against Australia in the 2016 autumn series. He left Toulon in 2017 and returned to Wales with the Scarlets, playing for them in the 2018 Guinness PRO14 final defeat in Dublin by Leinster.