Leigh Halfpenny all-round game

Leigh Halfpenny’s all-round game makes him a must pick for Lions

Leigh Halfpenny all-round game

Leigh Halfpenny should be one of the first names on the Lions Test team sheet in Australia this summer.

That’s the verdict of former Wales skipper Paul Thorburn, himself a full-back who specialised in long-range goal-kicking.

Thorburn still holds the record for the longest kick in international rugby, having landed a penalty from 70 yards 8½ inches (64.2m) against Scotland during the 1986 Five Nations match in Cardiff.

So he has huge admiration for Halfpenny’s howitzers, with the Blues star having slotted two huge kicks to seal the win over France last Saturday – a conversion from the left-hand touchline and an angled penalty from halfway.

But he also recognises the all-round qualities of the man he dubs Wales’ ‘Mr Consistent’.

And he feels room has to be found somewhere in the Lions’ den for the versatile 24-year-old, who is equally comfortable on the wing as at full-back.

“I have to say Leigh is an outstanding player,” said Thorburn. “He is a very accurate and consistent kicker who just doesn’t seem to miss.

“I was probably a more consistent long-range kicker than I was a short kicker.

“I preferred the long ones because there was no pressure!

“Leigh is equally consistent from all ranges. It’s well-documented that he spends an awful lot of time practising and he reaps the rewards from that.”

So, does that make him a must for Warren Gatland’s Lions Test XV Down Under?

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