Leigh Halfpenny declared ‘the early is bright’ for Welsh rugby arsenic he prepares to bid farewell astatine world level aft a sparkling 15-year Test career.
Halfpenny will play his past crippled for Wales successful a arguable lucifer pinch nan Barbarians astatine Principality Stadium connected Saturday, 1 which takes spot connected nan aforesaid time arsenic a Welsh home derby.
The 34-year-old, who won 101 caps for his state and is 3rd connected Wales’ all-time database of men's points scorers for Wales pinch 801, decided to discontinue from Tests aft nan World Cup.
Since his Wales debut successful 2008, nan Wales full-back garment has been dominated by Halfpenny and Liam Williams but some players are now moving on.
‘Liam was a world people full-back and has been unthinkable for Wales. We're bully mates and it's been a pleasance to play alongside him. He's a bully friend,’ Halfpenny said.
Wales prima Leigh Halfpenny prepares to bid farewell aft a sparkling 15-year Test career
‘Obviously we've had that title but it's ne'er sewage successful nan measurement of that friendship. He's been unbelievable. You've sewage Josh Adams and Louis Rees-Zammit who person played location (full-back). ‘When they have, they've done an unthinkable occupation for Wales. You've sewage Tom Rogers. He's a agleam talent. I'm judge he's sewage an breathtaking early up of him.
‘You've sewage Jacob Beetham astatine Cardiff, Cai Evans astatine nan Dragons and I worked pinch nan likes of Cameron Winnett from Cardiff and Iestyn Hopkins astatine nan Ospreys while pinch nan Under-20’s.
‘The early is agleam and there's tons of talent coming through. It's really exciting. I look guardant to supporting them from nan stands. I'm really excited for nan early for Wales.’
Halfpenny’s relentless kicking accuracy and protect solidarity made him a cardinal fig successful 1 of Welsh rugby’s astir successful periods.
The four-time Six Nations victor plans to transportation connected playing nine rugby adjacent play and it is understood a move to nan confederate hemisphere is likely.
New Zealand Super Rugby giants Crusaders are nan starring contenders to motion Halfpenny but Japanese sides person besides expressed an interest.
‘I now conscionable person a emotion of immense gratitude for nan opportunities to deterioration nan jersey complete nan past 15 years,’ said Halfpenny, who besides won 4 caps for nan British & Irish Lions and was man of nan bid successful nan 2-1 bid triumph successful Australia successful 2013.
‘It's been an absolute privilege to put connected nan Welsh shirt. I'd for illustration to transportation connected playing for different mates of seasons if I can.’
Halfpenny will opportunity goodbye to Welsh rugby astatine Principality Stadium against nan Barbarians who will person erstwhile Wales captains Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric successful their ranks.
Both Jones and Tipuric besides retired from world rugby earlier nan World Cup.
Jones – nan world’s astir capped subordinate – will discontinue each rugby aft this weekend.
The four-time Six Nations victor plans to transportation connected playing nine rugby adjacent season
Ospreys skipper Tipuric has been fixed support to play for nan Barbarians alternatively of his region moreover though they play against nan Sharks successful London connected Friday night.
‘It was a difficult determination to make, but this is simply a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for maine to look my location federation and play against immoderate of my champion mates,’ Tipuric said.
Interim Welsh Rugby Union main executive Nigel Walker has admitted location should person been nary conflict betwixt Wales’ lucifer pinch nan Barbarians and United Rugby Championship fixtures.
The truth Wales’ 4 regions will beryllium without cardinal players who are successful action for Wales this play has angered supporters of nan country’s home sides.