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Halfpenny set to miss summer tour

Leigh Halfpenny has played his last game for Cardiff Blues and looks set to miss Wales' South Africa tour this summer.

Halfpenny will undergo surgery on Friday to repair the shoulder he dislocated during last weekend's 29-18 RBS 6 Nations defeat against England at Twickenham.

The Welsh Rugby Union say he is expected to be sidelined for "up to four months".

Liam Williams will replace the star full-back in Saturday's Six Nations appointment with Scotland, while June Tests against South Africa in Durban and Nelspruit also seem likely to be off Halfpenny's radar.

In a statement, the WRU said: "Wales and Cardiff Blues full-back Leigh Halfpenny, who dislocated his right shoulder against England on Sunday, will undergo surgery tomorrow (Friday).

"He is expected to be out for up to four months."

Halfpenny kicked all Wales' points at Twickenham, but was hurt when he pulled off a try-saving tackle on England centre Luther Burrell during the second period.

And Wales are now without their star performer of the last 12 months, who will leave the Blues and head to wealthy French club Toulon this summer.

Halfpenny, 25, won a host of awards last year, including Six Nations player of the tournament and player of the series when the British and Irish Lions claimed a 2-1 victory over Australia Down Under.

He also won the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the year and was runner-up behind Andy Murray in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Halfpenny's Wales team-mate, centre Jamie Roberts, said: "I am gutted for Leigh.

"He has put his body on the line in stopping a certain try, and unfortunately he has damaged his shoulder. He will have the best wishes of everyone."

The WRU also confirmed that scrum-half Rhys Webb, who went off with an ankle injury at Twickenham, has been released from the national squad and will continue to be assessed by the Ospreys medical team.

Mike Phillips, who lost his place to Webb earlier in the tournament, will replace him against Scotland, with 20-year-old Scarlets prospect Rhodri Williams proving bench cover.

Wales have not lost at home to Scotland for 12 years, and a much-changed team will go into battle chasing a victory that could see them finish third in the table if title-chasing Ireland beat France on Saturday.


From Belfast Telegraph