Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny announces retirement from international rugby

Leigh Halfpenny has played 101 Tests for Wales
Leigh Halfpenny has played 101 Tests for Wales

Wales fullback Leigh Halfpenny has announced his decision to retire from international rugby with immediate effect.

Halfpenny made his Wales debut in November 2008 against South Africa and is seventh on the most-capped player for his country with 101 Test appearances to his name.

He is also third in the most points scored for Wales with 801 to his tally with only Neil Jenkins (1,049) and Stephen Jones (917) are ahead of the 34-year-old.

Halfpenny also represented British and Irish Lions in the 2009, 2013 and 2017 tours featuring for them in four games. With Wales' World Cup campaign ending with a quarter-final defeat to Argentina, he has now decided to quit international rugby.

"Having had time to reflect after the Rugby World Cup campaign, it's with a heavy heart that I've decided that it's time for me to step away from international rugby.

"The decision hasn't been easy, but the time feels right for me now and I look forward to running out one last time against the Barbarians next week at home.

"It's been such a huge honour and privilege to put on the Welsh jersey and represent my country over the past 15 years. It was a dream as a kid growing up playing for Gorseinon to one day play for Wales and I've made the most incredible memories.

"There's been ups and downs but I will look back on my international career with immense pride, there's no better feeling than running out to a full Principality Stadium wearing the Welsh jersey and singing the national anthem. I'm going to miss it, but I will be forever grateful for the opportunities I've had and to every single person who has helped me along the way.

"It's been unbelievable to play with such special people over the years and I will cherish the friendships I've made. I'm excited about this group of players coming through for Wales and what they can achieve in the future. I'm looking forward to supporting the boys from the stands.

"Whilst I'll be moving on from the international game, I'm excited about the next chapter as a player in this game which has given me so much and look forward to sharing details on my club future soon. Diolch."