McGeechan: Halfpenny crucial for Wales win

Former British & Irish Lions coach Sir Ian McGeechan believes Leigh Halfpenny could hold the key to success for Wales ahead of their clash with France in Paris next week. [more]

McGeechan: Halfpenny crucial for Wales win

Former British & Irish Lions coach Sir Ian McGeechan believes Leigh Halfpenny could hold the key to success for Wales ahead of their clash with France in Paris next week.

Halfpenny, who featured in all three of the Lions’ Tests in 2013, has kicked 24 points in his last two outings for Wales against England and Scotland.

Next up is a clash with Les Blues who were downed by the boot of Jonathan Sexton in their last encounter.

And McGeechan believes that indiscipline could open the door for the deadly Halfpenny to add to his tally and lead his country to victory.

“Leigh is a world-class and match-winning goal kicker and I am sure assistant coach Rob Howley will be working on the best ways of making the most of his pace when Wales get into the outside third of the field,” he wrote in the Sunday Telegraph.

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“Ireland beat France because the French indiscipline was punished by Jonathan Sexton’s boot and it could be a similar situation for Wales next Saturday.

“Both Dan Biggar and Halfpenny will need consistent accuracy to play in the right areas of the field, and collect the points.

“Halfpenny could also be the key in other ways. His positioning in defence is outstanding, even though he has to cover vast acres of space because Wales like to have their scrum-half and both wingers up in the defensive line.”

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