Halfpenny keen to prolong Toulon triumphs

He may not be a direct replacement for Jonny Wilkinson, but British & Irish Lions full-back Leigh Halfpenny is excited to fill the legendary fly-half's boots. [more]

Halfpenny keen to prolong Toulon triumphs

He may not be a direct replacement for Jonny Wilkinson, but British & Irish Lions full-back Leigh Halfpenny is excited to fill the legendary fly-half’s boots.

Wilkinson, who toured with the Lions in 2001 and 2005, retired at the end of last season after leading French giants Toulon to a domestic and European double.

And as one of the world’s best place kickers leaves another arrives, with Halfpenny – man of the series as the Lions beat Australia last summer – joining from Cardiff Blues.

The 25-year-old is excited by the new challenge and the possibility of learning directly from Wilkinson, who has stayed with Toulon as a coach.

“Jonny is a role-model for all players, he is an icon of the sport,” Halfpenny told rugbyrama.fr.

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“I am honoured to succeed him as kicker. But as he is on the staff, it will be a real privilege to train with him and have his advice to improve my kicking game and advance my skills.

“It's a real challenge for me to sign here but this is what I wanted.

“I have to learn the French culture to integrate myself but Toulon is a great team with top players. The club has big ambitions and that's why I came here. They have had great success in recent seasons and I am delighted to be part of it.

“The aim is to try to do as well as last year. It will not be easy because we are expected to win and the pressure will be on our shoulders. But last season showed the players can achieve success.”

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