Wales star Leigh Halfpenny expects to be back for the Six Nations

Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny is hoping to make a return from a neck injury in time for next year's Six Nations championship

warren gatland
Gatland led Wales to the Six Nations championship in 2012 National Assembly For Wales

Leigh Halfpenny’s neck injury is not as bad as first feared and the full-back looks set to be back in action in time for Wales’ defence of their Six Nations crown.

The 23-year-old was stretchered from the field at the end of their 14-12 defeat to Australia, injuring himself while trying in vain to prevent Kurtley Beale’s last-gasp score.

But after seeking advice from specialists Halfpenny, it appears, will be back fighting fit in time for Wales opening clash of the 2013 Six Nations at the start of February against Ireland.

“We’ve had a few opinions now from the specialists and it seems to be about six weeks will be the time where the nerve will have settled down and it’ll be safe to go back to play,” the Cardiff Blues full-back told Sport Wales.

“Basically it’s when my symptoms subside and I’m not in any pain or when I’m doing contact I’m not getting any pins and needles down my arms.

“At the time I wasn’t sure whether Australia had scored or not. I was conscious so I was aware of the atmosphere and the crowd so I guessed that they might have scored but I wasn’t sure if we had won or lost at the time.

“My head was in the ground so I couldn’t see anything either. It wasn’t until I got into the medical room where they were assessing me, I asked did we win or lose and they told me that they had won.

“It was devastating. That was the fourth time we have come so close now but still so far away. It’s so frustrating as well.”

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