Leigh Halfpenny's injury

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Post by Cymroglan on Thu 30 Jun 2011, 8:48 pm

Wales coach Warren Gatland has revealed Leigh Halfpenny is a major doubt for this autumn's World Cup in New Zealand.

Cardiff Blues wing Halfpenny, 22, is recovering from an operation on the persistent foot injury which disrupted his season with club and country.

"Leigh Halfpenny, despite being in a boot, is making good progress," said Gatland.

"He's still going to be touch and go whether he gets selected for the World Cup squad."

Halfpenny has been included in Wales' provisional 45-man squad, which will be reduced to 30 for the World Cup.
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I for one hope he does make a full recovery a very useful player to have in our squad.

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Post by Guest on Thu 30 Jun 2011, 9:02 pm

The biggest discussion point from that article is where Gatland said he would consider taking him even if he isn't able to play in one of the warm up games. Not sure I agree with that, no matter who the player is.

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Post by Cymroglan on Thu 30 Jun 2011, 9:17 pm

Risca Rev wrote:The biggest discussion point from that article is where Gatland said he would consider taking him even if he isn't able to play in one of the warm up games. Not sure I agree with that, no matter who the player is.

I was thinking the same thing after the warm up games it's too late to experiment.

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Post by glamorganalun on Thu 30 Jun 2011, 9:21 pm

Gatland is full of contradictions saying Adam Jones will be sent home if he is over weight then he makes a statement 1/2penny may play having not played any of the warm up games or fitness training in Poland. In a way I am encouraged he is picking players on ability rather than doing 100 press ups in 5 mins. I would rather have 1/2penny 80% fit than have a 100% fit wing with no rugby brain, or does not tackle or pick up yellow cards for high tackles.

This statement by Gatland implies Henson will be on the plane however fit he is!

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Post by maestegmafia on Thu 30 Jun 2011, 9:26 pm

glamorganalun wrote:Gatland is full of contradictions saying Adam Jones will be sent home if he is over weight then he makes a statement 1/2penny may play having not played any of the warm up games or fitness training in Poland. In a way I am encouraged he is picking players on ability rather than doing 100 press ups in 5 mins. I would rather have 1/2penny 80% fit than have a 100% fit wing with no rugby brain, or does not tackle or pick up yellow cards for high tackles.

This statement by Gatland implies Henson will be on the plane however fit he is!

Gatland said what you quoted regarding Adam Jones about two years ago, the quote was re-hashed to make a recent Andy Howell article.

I think the same rules apply to any player that has previously proved their worth to Gatland. If they are fit on the day, and he believes they have the edge other squad members dont he will make a judgement call at the time on whether or not they go.

I agree with his thinking, I want people I know and trust around me in a tough situation, I want people who i know how they will react, and how to get the best out of them.

That A-side I hope he doesn't emulate the ridiculous scenario SCW cause in NZ in 2005 with the 30 walking wounded former England jokes.

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Post by ScarletSpiderman on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 12:02 pm

He also said that the Stoddart will stay at home instead of going to Poland as he is injuured and it is an intensive training out there, yet he is taking Tuppance out there even though he is also injured.

Personally I think that Gatland is losing the plot. He said that Leigh may need to be taken fit or not due to lack of fullbacks, yet in the squad he has Lee Byne, Morgan Stoddart, Jamie Roberts, James Hook, Stephen Jones, Rhys Priestland & Gavin Henson (as well as Halfpenny) who have all played international fullback. And there is also the likes of Tovey (and possibly Brew?) who have played there regionally. I have a horrible feeling that if the team going to the RWC is going to be full of people carrying knocks etc, but are Gatlands regulars, as opposed to fit and on form players.
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Post by dogtooth on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 12:08 pm

if we lose 1/2p and stoddard it will rip the guts out of our back three options.

it would be nice to have 25-30 players who are fit and on form. just about every player will have some niggle or another. the only 100% fit player we will have will be henson Shocked , for a while at least.


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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 12:09 pm

It's really dispiriting to read Gatland's comments the day after Aled Brew was voted Welsh player of the year by his peers. It's clear now, if it wasn't before, that some players will be taken to the World Cup irrespective of how they've played this season.

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Post by wales606 on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 12:10 pm

luckless

Halfpenny and Stoddart have both played well this season too, when fit.
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Post by ScarletSpiderman on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 12:11 pm

luckless - and, sadly, some will not make it no matter how much they deserve it.
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 12:12 pm

wales606, can you honestly say Leigh Halfpenny has been tearing up trees when he's played this season?

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Post by wales606 on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 12:13 pm

He has been the best defensive winger in Wales - by far. His kicking has improved and he has actually scored some tries while playing in a Blues backline on poor form.
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Post by ScarletSpiderman on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 12:16 pm

wales606 wrote:He has been the best defensive winger in Wales - by far.
Honestly? I must be honest I have not seen (or at least remembered) much of him playing this season, but I honestly don't think that he is or ever will be the best defensive winger, the same as it will always be a weakness of George North too. I would probably guess at Brew or Hughes being better defensive winger.
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Post by munkian on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 12:22 pm

Brew, although not great, is certainly capable of tackling, even tackling forwards - as was seen when he slammed the Barbarian's No 8 in the Wales match thumbsup
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 12:23 pm

I'm not saying he's a bad player - far from it - but as I've said on another thread, it's not as if he's so incredibly brilliant that we should give him a free pass to the World Cup.


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Post by XR on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 12:23 pm

ScarletSpiderman wrote:I would probably guess at Brew or Hughes being better defensive winger.

Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh

Nice one

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Post by ScarletSpiderman on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 12:36 pm

gcBlues - Brew puts tackles in and gets involved at breakdowns quite often, that was my reasoning
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Post by munkian on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 12:36 pm

gcBlues wrote:
ScarletSpiderman wrote:I would probably guess at Brew or Hughes being better defensive winger.

Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh

Nice one

You want to back that up rather than just posting smilies like an 8 year old on AOL ?
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Post by flyhalffactory on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 1:07 pm

glamorganalun wrote:Gatland is full of contradictions saying Adam Jones will be sent home if he is over weight then he makes a statement 1/2penny may play having not played any of the warm up games or fitness training in Poland. In a way I am encouraged he is picking players on ability rather than doing 100 press ups in 5 mins. I would rather have 1/2penny 80% fit than have a 100% fit wing with no rugby brain, or does not tackle or pick up yellow cards for high tackles.

This statement by Gatland implies Henson will be on the plane however fit he is!


I would say that 1/2p is a fantastic player , brave, offensively superb, very clever rugby brain, and getting better positionally and defensively. However the latter two aspects of his game are still found wanting at the highest level. But I dont understand you referring to certain current Welsh wingers with no rugby brain or defensively worse than him. I am assuming you are referring to Brew and Stoddart who IMHO (particularly Stoddart whose defence has been superb) have improved both awareness and defence, and in my mind are ahead of 1/2p on both counts.

I for one would advocate IF FIT a backline of

15 1/2p (for his boot alone)
14 North
11 Shane

but certainly would say the above would not be defensively as strong as the following

15 Stoddart
14 North
11 Brew

Unless Shane is 100% fit I would go for

15 1/2p
14 North
11 Stoddart

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Post by Guest on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 1:12 pm

North is actually a very solid defensive player, he occassionally gets caught out in position, but he's only in his first season of senior rugby so there's bound to be things he needs to work on. I would say he's gotten a bit worse defensively since his injury, as he had no problems with it the first half of the season.

What I find a bit strange is that we are now slating wingers if they can't defend, yet when we had the likes of Mark Jones playing who was good defensively he was slated for not being good in attack. Is it possible for a winger to have the right balance, or is their strength always going to be one or the other?

I am a bit concerned over Gats' comments recently. It does appear he's already got a set squad in his head and he'll pick them regardless of form & fitness, and I really don't think that's a good thing.


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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 1:21 pm

Mark Jones really was a goon in attack. Wink

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Post by wales606 on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 1:23 pm

ScarletSpiderman wrote:
wales606 wrote:He has been the best defensive winger in Wales - by far.
Honestly? I must be honest I have not seen (or at least remembered) much of him playing this season, but I honestly don't think that he is or ever will be the best defensive winger, the same as it will always be a weakness of George North too. I would probably guess at Brew or Hughes being better defensive winger.


He may be small, but he never misses a tackle and his speed and tracking back is excellent, as is his defensive positioning. He has saved at least 1 try in almost every game his has played for the Blues this season due to his excellent work in covering.
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Post by flyhalffactory on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 1:24 pm

"I am a bit concerned over Gats' comments recently. It does appear he's already got a set squad in his head and he'll pick them regardless of form & fitness, and I really don't think that's a good thing."


dreamer
Do you even think that the man is true to his word, he boldly stated when he took your team on "I will select on form"................ thats been seen time and time again to be a lie

One thing I think you are 100% spot on when you said people slated Mark Jones for been too defensive and now look whats happening

You could be seeing an unfit (and not the best defensive back) FB/Wing in 1/2p, and an aging and match rusty Wing in Shane

Mr Gs philosophy of a "tight knit loyal player base" might well bite him on his derriere

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Post by Guest on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 1:27 pm

Lucky - well spotted, duly edited Wink

FHF - aye I know, I just keep hoping that Gats will actually stick to his word for a change as it really doesn't seem that he does.

And this: "Mr Gs philosophy of a "tight knit loyal player base" might well bite him on his derriere" I completely agree with.

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Post by ScarletSpiderman on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 1:30 pm

FlyHalf - how can you say Gatland lies, he keeps banging on and on about the honesty in the camp 🤦
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Post by dogtooth on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 2:06 pm

what would you say is wales' best back line if 1/2p is unavailable?

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Post by wales606 on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 2:20 pm

Best Backline

11. Shane Williams
14. Leigh Halfpenny
15. Morgon Stoddart

If 1/2 and Stoddart are out

11. Shane Williams
14. George North
15. Lee Byrne
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Post by maestegmafia on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 2:28 pm

Without question, lee Byrne is the best fullback, and the most experienced. Stoddart is not going to be in the starting back three if all players are fit.

He may make the bench.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 2:29 pm

Could Shane Williams be used coming off the bench for Aled Brew on the left wing? It's not going to happen, obviously, but Shane's ability as a broken-field runner could be a real weapon in the later stages of a match.

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Post by ScarletSpiderman on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 2:31 pm

If all is well Gatland will probably go

Byrne/Halfpenny
North/Halfpenny
Williams

With Halfpenny/North/Byrne on the bench.

Personally I would like to see a back devision of

Preistland
Brew
Williams/Bishop
Davies
Stoddard
Jones/Hook
Knoyle/Williams

As that is IMO our best attacking option.
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Post by kultschar on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 2:40 pm

Halfpennys long range kicks will really be missed in tight games.

Jones nor Hook have the distance unless they are in opposition half

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Post by Dominic Dicoco on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 2:58 pm

kultschar wrote:Halfpennys long range kicks will really be missed in tight games.

Jones nor Hook have the distance unless they are in opposition half

Henson to kick the winner in the final from his own 10m line. Its written in the stars.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 3:18 pm

Risca Rev wrote:The biggest discussion point from that article is where Gatland said he would consider taking him even if he isn't able to play in one of the warm up games. Not sure I agree with that, no matter who the player is.


What's wrong with Gatland saying this? It's not like he doesn't know what Halfpenny is capable of, and it's not as if he's saying that he'd pick him regardless of fitness. The warm-ups are some time from the actual tournament, all Gatland is saying is that he wouldn't need to be fully fit in time for the warm-ups, presumably on the basis that he'd have to be fit for the tournament itself. Halfpenny has been around the squad and around the team for ages. He knows the players and knows the systems.

Honestly, I can't help get the feeling that Gatland will soon be blamed and criticised for the weather.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 3:23 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:Halfpenny has been around the squad and around the team for ages. He knows the players and knows the systems.

You could substitute Huw Bennett or Jonathan Thomas for Halfpenny in that sentence and you'd get to the problem. How long a player has been involved in the international setup should count for less than how well he's been playing compared with others in his position.

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Post by Guest on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 4:04 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
Risca Rev wrote:The biggest discussion point from that article is where Gatland said he would consider taking him even if he isn't able to play in one of the warm up games. Not sure I agree with that, no matter who the player is.


What's wrong with Gatland saying this? It's not like he doesn't know what Halfpenny is capable of, and it's not as if he's saying that he'd pick him regardless of fitness. The warm-ups are some time from the actual tournament, all Gatland is saying is that he wouldn't need to be fully fit in time for the warm-ups, presumably on the basis that he'd have to be fit for the tournament itself. Halfpenny has been around the squad and around the team for ages. He knows the players and knows the systems.

Honestly, I can't help get the feeling that Gatland will soon be blamed and criticised for the weather.

I think it gives a message that Halfpenny is pretty comfortable and I don't agree with it. He should show some form in the warm ups to go in my opinion. We all know what Henson is capable of, but I don't want him going to the WC either, unless he shows some form in the warm ups.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 4:21 pm

luckless_pedestrian wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:Halfpenny has been around the squad and around the team for ages. He knows the players and knows the systems.

You could substitute Huw Bennett or Jonathan Thomas for Halfpenny in that sentence and you'd get to the problem. How long a player has been involved in the international setup should count for less than how well he's been playing compared with others in his position.


You're confusing issues.

Question 1: Is Halfpenny good enough to make the WC squad? I'd say yes. In the cases of Huw Bennett and Jonathan Thomas, I'd say no.

Question 2 (which is the question we're talking about): Assuming the answer to question 1 is yes, should the fact that Halfpenny won't be 100% fit for all the warm-up games rule him out? I'd say no, provided he'll be fit for the WC. My reasoning is that he'll be able to fit back in very quickly, and Gatland doesn't need to see Halfpenny play all the warm-up games to know he's got the ability to (a) play for Wales, and (b) fit in with the other players.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 4:23 pm

"I think it gives a message that Halfpenny is pretty comfortable and I don't agree with it. He should show some form in the warm ups to go in my opinion. We all know what Henson is capable of, but I don't want him going to the WC either, unless he shows some form in the warm ups."


So if Davies, Lydiate and Warburton don't show form in the warm-ups they shouldn't go to the World Cup?

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 4:25 pm

I personally don't see any issue with a coach knowing the core of his squad before the warm-up games.

You may feel you don't agree with the coach as to who that core should be, but I'll bet just about every coach would be able to name approx. 20-25 of his WC squad already, without recourse to the warm-ups.

Andy Robinson has been pretty open about this, and if asked, I'd bet that Kidney and MJ would say the same.

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Post by Guest on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 4:34 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:So if Davies, Lydiate and Warburton don't show form in the warm-ups they shouldn't go to the World Cup?

It's a little different to me is that, because 1/2p has been struggling with injuries too, so should really show he is over them.

I agree a coach should know the majority of his squad by now, but like I say I'd prefer players who have not been fit to prove they are ready. Especially with Wales' group, we can't really afford to take somebody who might break down again.

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Post by glamorganalun on Sun 03 Jul 2011, 9:41 pm

Funnyexciledscott:

I agree with all your the points above, 1/2 Penny is a key member of the squad covering wing and full back (and a good kicker), I think Gatland is going to go for competent players that can cover more than one position and 1/2 Penny more than covers this requirement. In the case of Stoddart he covers both positions and is great going forward but he is flakey in defence just like Preistland. I though Harries played well for Wales in NZ covering wing and full back but he has not had much of a look in since!

If 1/2 Penny does not make it will Gatland go out side the squad such as Harries, Hughes or Barry Davies, or will he go for Brew (in the squad and top try scorer), I doubt it?

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Post by ScarletSpiderman on Mon 04 Jul 2011, 8:51 am

The major problem with what Gatland has said is that he came out and said on many an occation that he will only select players who are fit and on form. And he has even come out saying in a few occations (with regards people like Tovey & Brew) that the players need to prove themselves over the season in order to get into the team. However he then puts Henson in with what 4 matches in 2 years in the team, Ken Owens with 15 mins of rugby (out of position) this year in the squad & says that 1/2p should go to the RWC no mater what.
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Post by ScarletSpiderman on Mon 04 Jul 2011, 8:59 am

Also what is with the 'honesty' this man is all about. Stoddart is injured so will not go to Poland with the squad but should be involved int eh pre-world cup friendlies. However Halfpenny, S Williams, A Jones & Jenkins are all still injured yet traveling to Poland with the squad. The more he comes out with the worse my opinion of him. I have a feeling that come the end of the RWC we will see him turn Rob Howley into a scape goat.
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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 04 Jul 2011, 9:30 am

I am interested that so many people rate halfpenny as an alternative fullback?

He has not played there much. Why would he be better than Byrne?

I don't see him as a fullback, certainly not unless he was playing their with more regularity.

Even hook has had more experience in the role.

Not saying halfpenny couldn't, just that he hasn't and it intrigues me as to why many posters see him as a 15.

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Post by ScarletSpiderman on Mon 04 Jul 2011, 9:39 am

Masesteg - the simple answer is the press-sheep syndrome. If the Beeb or WM say that a player is considered as back up for a role the general public tend to take it on board that said player is a back up for whatever role. For example if the Beeb or WM were to start running a few articles about how well Thom James is in defence and that he is considered as a possible outside centre for the future, I would expect these boards to be filled with comments saying that we need James in the centre as it will give us a defensive edge.

P.S. This is not meant as an insult to anyone who believes that 1/2p is a realistic option at fullback based on their own opinions based on him playing.
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Leigh Halfpenny's injury Empty Re: Leigh Halfpenny's injury

Post by maestegmafia on Mon 04 Jul 2011, 9:49 am

SS

I agree, shame how the media lead our thoughts and minds.

Halfpenny is a talent for sure, I have seen him at fullback for the blues once or twice and he was ok, but not inspiring and certainly not international calibre.

I think he would need a good season there first, but it's always an option.

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Post by polotechnics on Mon 04 Jul 2011, 9:50 am

Is it me, or I am the only one who thinks that Leigh Halfpenny hasn’t really performed since his opening couple of seasons.

Yes he’s solid under the high ball and his tackling has improved and he rarely knocks on or turns over the ball in contact (for someone of his size anyway).

But I haven’t seen him make any breaks in a long time now.

When you compare 1/2p to North, Shane or even Brew (who I am not a fan, I don’t think that he has an international skill set), he makes very few meaningful breaks.

Am I in the minority here?

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Tue 05 Jul 2011, 9:04 am

Polotechnics, I agree with you. He has been very good but not for a good while.

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Post by red_stag on Tue 05 Jul 2011, 10:08 am

You need those kind of players too. A young player who can catch a high ball, tackle, take a ball into contact and play consistently without making mistakes. Thats an asset right there.

Let one winger be your glamouress 50m break winger. The other your solid one.
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Post by Breadvan on Tue 05 Jul 2011, 1:47 pm

That A-side I hope he doesn't emulate the ridiculous scenario SCW cause in NZ in 2005 with the 30 walking wounded former England jokes..


Couldn't help yourself eh?? 🤦
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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 05 Jul 2011, 3:32 pm

ScarletSpiderman wrote:Also what is with the 'honesty' this man is all about. Stoddart is injured so will not go to Poland with the squad but should be involved int eh pre-world cup friendlies. However Halfpenny, S Williams, A Jones & Jenkins are all still injured yet traveling to Poland with the squad. The more he comes out with the worse my opinion of him. I have a feeling that come the end of the RWC we will see him turn Rob Howley into a scape goat.

Gatland has been absolutely open about the fact that if Wales fail to make the QF, he should be sacked. Any evidence of him making his coaches into scapegoats before, or are you just saying this because he doesn't pick enough Scarlets and you don't like him?

Isn't the difference between Stoddart and the others that they can actually play rugby at the moment, albeit coming back from injuries, whereas Stoddart is still having physio and therefore can't meaningfully participate in training exercises?

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