British & Irish Lions full back Leigh Halfpenny has capped a remarkable season by claiming yet another top award.
The 24-year-old Welshman has been named the HSBC Lions Player of the Series after playing a leading role in the 2-1 win over the Qantas Wallabies.
Decided by an independent vote from members of the media representing Australia and Britain and Ireland, Halfpenny was nominated as the clear winner for the award last night from over forty votes following the historic third-Test win in Sydney on Saturday.
Halfpenny broke two major records at ANZ Stadium in the decisive international as the Lions ran out convincing 41-16 winners to secure a first series success since 1997. The Cardiff Blues star, who featured in every single minute of the Test series, kicked 21 points to set a record for a Lion in a Test match, while his overall Test tally of 49 points broke Neil Jenkins’ previous best from the 1997 tour of South Africa.
He also equalled the record number of penalties scored by a Lion in a Test series, matching Jenkins’ 13 from ‘97, and the number of penalties scored by a Lion in a single Test in Australia, with the five he notched in the second Test in Melbourne and again a week later in Sydney levelling Gavin Hastings’ efforts from the final rubber in 1989.
Halfpenny’s overall goal kicking record on tour was 89% thanks to 40 successes from 45 attempts, with his 114 points in six tour games averaging out at an incredible 19 points per match.
“It’s tremendous to be honoured and to receive this award but it was a true squad performance out here for us throughout the Tour. It’s been a long tour and to finish it off with a Series win is a fantastic feeling. I’m delighted I have contributed in such a talented and exciting Lions squad,” said a typically modest Halfpenny.
The award was presented to Halfpenny by Giles Morgan, Global Head of Sponsorship & Events for HSBC, the Principal Partner of the Tour.
“Congratulations to Leigh on being voted the player of the Series by all those in the media, a thoroughly deserved recognition for an outstanding personal performance throughout the Tour,” added Morgan.
“HSBC is delighted to have played a part in what has been a hugely successful Tour on and off the field for all those involved. It is particularly pleasing to end our second consecutive tour as Principal Partner of The British & Irish Lions with a Series win."
Halfpenny follows in the footsteps of fellow Welsh international Jamie Roberts after the inside centre was voted HSBC Lions Player of the Series in South Africa four years ago.