Leigh Halfpenny will sit out the Test against the Springboks on Saturday. Photo: Neil Munns/EPA

CARDIFF – Leigh Halfpenny is out of Wales’s clash with South Africa this Saturday because he has not fully recovered from concussion.

The 29-year-old full back was smashed in a late tackle by Australia centre Samu Kerevi 11 days ago, a challenge which angered the Welsh. Kerevi’s shoulder hit Halfpenny in the face but the tackle received no punishment from the referee. Halfpenny failed a head-injury assessment on the day and is still not ready to return. George North has recovered from a dead leg.

“Leigh did some training on Saturday morning and he was still feeling a little bit light-headed,” said Wales attack coach Rob Howley. “It is a common-sense approach that the player’s welfare came first so unfortunately he will miss out.

“It is disappointing to lose him in the situation that it happened.”

Scarlets team-mate Ken Owens added: “It’s very disappointing for Leigh to be out of this game. A player of his quality and experience - he has been on fire with the Scarlets and Wales so far this year. But I am sure whoever steps in will take their chance.” 

Full back Halfpenny was smashed in a late tackle by Australia centre Samu Kerevi. Photo: David Rowland/EPA
Full back Halfpenny was smashed in a late tackle by Australia centre Samu Kerevi. Photo: David Rowland/EPA

Wales now have a selection dilemma. Gareth Anscombe performed well at fly-half against Scotland and Australia and Dan Biggar starred last weekend against Tonga. Both may play against the Boks, with Anscombe moving to his regional position of full back. Alternatively, Liam Williams - brilliant on his 50th cap against the Pacific Islanders -could be moved to No 15. 

Howley added: “Selection maybe a couple of years ago did not take too long but now it is a really healthy debate.

“Liam Williams can step up there, Gareth Anscombe has played full back and Hallam Amos. I have never experienced a squad with the strength in depth that we have got.”

Daily Mail