Wales head coach Warren Gatland has named his final ever Wales squad ahead of their bronze medal match against New Zealand this Friday, and it sees nine changes from the one that narrowly lost to South Africa last Sunday.
However, it is the fullback Halfpenny’s latest injury that has caused the most concern amongst fans, as he has suffered yet another concussion.
“Leigh Halfpenny, after the game, had a HIA and, with the five-day turnaround, he was unavailable because you need a minimum of six days for that,” said Gatland. “So he wasn’t under consideration.”
The two-time British and Irish Lions tourist missed all of Wales’ Grand Slam campaign earlier this year after suffering a head injury in November, although he did make his return for the Scarlets during the Six Nations.
That was not the first concussion the 89-cap international had suffered, and after this latest setback, some fans on social media are raising concerns about his health.
Of course, no one yet knows the full extent of this problem, and it may just be a precautionary move by Gatland, but head injuries are something that have troubled many players and have cut some brilliant careers short.
It is a great tragedy to see such a fine player have their career thwarted in such a way, as Halfpenny only reminded the rugby world of the player he is against the Springboks. Stepping in for the injured Liam Williams, the 30-year-old was a rock under the high ball in a kicking onslaught, and was typically reliable with the boot himself.
It is yet to be seen what Halfpenny’s next steps will be, but no one wants to see a player struggle in the way that he has in recent years with injuries, and questions are being asked about his future.
This is what has been said:
You just wonder how long Halfpenny will keep going. No doubt he’ll want to carry on for as long as possible but he also won’t want to take any risks with his future health. Fingers crossed it’s more of a precaution and he’ll be back fully fit soon.
— Gavin Seymour (@Girvla) October 30, 2019
Halfpenny has to seriously think of his future here, he’s a new father he’s had a amazing career, And for him to still have concussion issues, is very worrying!
— Cefin Vaughan ??????? (@CefinVaughan) October 30, 2019
News of Halfpenny suffering another concussion is very worrying. I would hate to see his career cut short but surely after so many he has to seriously start considering what impact these will have on his long term future.
— Swans Blog (@SwansBlog) October 30, 2019
Another concussion for Leigh Halfpenny. Really sad to say it as he’s been a favourite player of mine since I was younger. But I think it’s time he considers his long term health and hangs his boots up.
— Liam ??????? (@Liamwarrender1) October 30, 2019
Very concerning to learn Leigh Halfpenny is a concussion withdrawal.
— Simon Gladwin (@gladders74) October 30, 2019
Halfpenny concussed again?? How many times is that now in 12months??!!
— HelenLouise????????? (@helen_louise10) October 30, 2019
You have to wonder if he has had one too many? He has to really consider his long term well being.
— Lee Wainfur ??????? (@LWainfur) October 30, 2019
Worrying to see Leigh Halfpenny has concussion again.
— Mari Strachan (@maridwt) October 30, 2019
Meanwhile, this injury-ravaged Wales team will bear the full brunt of an All Blacks backlash this Friday, as the three-time champions will want to respond following their humbling loss to England in the semi-final. Gatland’s men will also have to do it without some of their star players.
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