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Wales star Leigh Halfpenny announces international retirement

By Josh Raisey
Leigh Halfpenny

Wales fullback Leigh Halfpenny has confirmed that he will retire from international rugby after playing against the Barbarians next week at the Principality Stadium .


The 34-year-old made his Test debut in 2008 and has gone on to become Wales’ third highest point scorer of all-time across his 101 caps. The Scarlets star also earned four caps for the British & Irish Lions in three tours between 2009 and 2017, being named the player of the series for the victorious 2013 tour in Australia.

He shared a statement on social media on Wednesday, where he also said that there will be imminent news on his club future, hinting that a possible move could be on the cards.

“After having time to reflect after the Rugby World Cup camapign,” he wrote on X. “It’s with a heavy heart that I’ve decided that it’s time for me to step away from international rugby.

“The decicion hasn’t been easy, but the time feels right for me now and I look forward to running out one last time against the Barbarians next week at home.


“It’s been such a huge honour and privilege to put on the Welsh jersey and represent my country over the past 15 years.

“It was a dream as a kid growing up playing for Gorseinon to one day play for Wales and I’ve made the most incredible memories.


“There’s been ups and downs but I will look back on my international career with immense pride, there’s no better feeling running out to a full Principlaity Stadium wearing the Welsh jersey and singing the national anthem.

“I’m going to miss it, but I will be forever grateful for the oppoortunities I’ve had and to every single person who has helped be along the way. It’s been unelievable to play with such special people over the years and I will cherish the friendships I’ve made.

“I’m excited about this group of players coming through for Wales and what they can achieve in the future. I’m looking forward to supporting the boys form the stands.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to all of the players, coaches and staff I’ve been fortunate to work alongside; to my family and friends who have been with me through all the ups and downs and ot all the fans who have supported me throughout.


“Whilst I’ll be moving on from the international game, I’m excited about the next chapter as a player in this game which has given me so much and look forward to sharing details of my club future soon. Diolch.”


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Thomas 269 days ago

My favorite Welsh player. What a career he’s had, multiple 6N titles, perhaps the best defensive full back in his prime, great in the air, superb on the boot. On top of that, a very nice bloke as far as I can tell.
Congratulations on a magnificent career, Leigh! What a legend.

tom 273 days ago

This is sad news but expected. He’s had a fantastic career and his boot has been excellent and won Wales lots of matches. Part of the first wave of Gatland era. Just hope we can hang onto North for another year or two.

Turlough 273 days ago

Massive congratulations to Leigh Halpenny on a fantastic career.
We will miss him in the 6 nations and in Ireland’s battles with Wales. There is much hype of pride in teams putting on black/dark green jerseys etc.
We aren’t as used to these boastful ways but we all know in our corner of the world that nothing means more than the burning pride and passion a Welshman has when wearing the famous red jersey. Great player and Welshman. Hope he continues in the game in a different capacity.

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