Leigh Halfpenny: Playing for Wales equal to British & Irish Lions

Cardiff Blues star Leigh Halfpenny says playing for Wales is just as much an honour as representing the British & Irish Lions

Leigh Halfpenny
Leigh Halfpenny was named this year's player of the championship Photo: Six Nations

Leigh Halfpenny insists the honour of representing Wales is equal to that of playing for the British & Irish Lions as Warren Gatland’s squad announcement for the tour of Australia draws ever closer.

Halfpenny was named the 2013 Six Nations player of the tournament as Wales recovered from defeat by Ireland first time out to win their next four matches.

Wins over France in Paris, Italy in Rome, Scotland in Edinburgh and then England on home soil in Cardiff saw Wales deny the latter the Grand Slam and retain their title.

Halfpenny kicked 69 points in the tournament to add to a try against Ireland as he was named player of the tournament for the first time since making his Six Nations debut in 2009.

And the 24-year-old full-back believes turning out for his country is just as good as doing so with the Lions.

“Playing for Wales is just incredible – it’s everything about you, your family, friends. You are representing that,” said Halfpenny, who was selected but injured on the last Lions tour in 2009.

“Playing for the Lions is the pinnacle of your international career but playing for Wales – it makes me just as proud pulling on that jersey. It is the greatest honour, equal with the Lions.”

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