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Page last updated at 06:24 GMT, Wednesday, 22 April 2009 07:24 UK

Halfpenny targets Lions Test spot

Leigh Halfpenny, Martyn Williams, Tom Shanklin, Gethin Jenkins, Jamie Roberts and Andy Powell (l-r)
Leigh Halfpenny (far left) and his five fellow Cardiff Blues and Lions team-mates

Blues and Wales winger Leigh Halfpenny targeted a Lions Test spot after his surprise call-up for the summer tour.

"On tour the one thing you'll want is to get that Test jersey on," said the 20-year-old, the youngest Welsh Lion since Keith Jarrett in 1968.

"On my first cap for Wales in November I lost to South Africa, hopefully I'll get a chance for revenge."

Halfpenny was playing for Cardiff RFC in the Welsh Premiership last year and has enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top.

The Swansea-born youngster starred in last summer's IRB Junior World Championship, then grabbed his chance with the Blues when Tom James was injured.

Halfpenny rise amazing - Williams

Another injury - to Scarlets and Wales winger Mark Jones - gave Halfpenny his surprise international chance against South Africa last autumn and he has since won six caps.

"I'm absolutely speechless, I would never have expected any of this at the start of the season," Halfpenny told BBC Sport Wales.

"Friends were saying I had a chance so I had to think it was a possibility, I couldn't sleep [Monday] night.

"I leaped in the air when I saw my name on the television, I nearly hit my head on the light.

"Then I broke into tears with my friends and family, it was just a massive occasion.


"We're going there to win a Test series and I can't wait to get started."

Former Wales captain Jonathan Davies says the Lions management have selected Halfpenny with a specific role in mind.

"I think that he's in as a goal kicker more than anything else," Davies told BBC Radio Wales.

"The only fly-halves [in the Lions party] are Ronan O'Gara and Stephen Jones.

"They will need a rest with [regular centre] Riki Flutey coming in [at fly-half], and then they will need Halfpenny to kick the goals."

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see also
Halfpenny's Lions pick 'deserved'
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Backs give Boks edge - Du Plessis
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Gatland hard-nosed on Jones snub
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Ryan Jones suffers shock omission
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Reaction of Wales' 2009 Lions
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O'Connell handed Lions captaincy
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Boks surprised by O'Connell pick
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Lion Ellis backs excluded Croft
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Telfer worried by low Lions count
21 Apr 09 |  Rugby Union
2009 Lions: Squad & results
09 Jul 09 |  Rugby Union
Lions squad selector
21 Apr 09 |  Rugby Union
History of the Lions
02 May 08 |  Rugby Union
Scrum V's starting Lions XV picks
18 Apr 09 |  Welsh
Mighty Boks: South African rugby
01 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
Botha tips S Africa to beat Lions
30 Mar 09 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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