Leigh Halfpenny: Concussion setback for Wales and Scarlets full-back

Leigh Halfpenny
Leigh Halfpenny has won 80 caps for Wales and played in four Tests for the British and Irish Lions
Six Nations: Wales v England
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Date: Saturday, 23 February Kick-off: 16:45 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Five Live, BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru, the BBC Sport website and app.

Full-back Leigh Halfpenny will miss Scarlets' Pro14 match at Benetton on Saturday after suffering a setback in his return from concussion, which could affect his hopes of playing in Wales' Six Nations' match against England.

The British and Irish Lion, 30, has not played since suffering concussion against Australia in November.

Halfpenny had returned to full-contact training with Scarlets.

But he has been left out of their matchday squad for the trip to Italy.

A Welsh Rugby Union statement read: "Although Leigh has returned to full training, it was collectively decided that he should continue training fully with the hope he will be available for selection in the imminent future."

Wales skills coach Neil Jenkins suggested on Thursday that Halfpenny's availability to face England on Saturday 23 February would depend on his involvement for Scarlets against Benetton.

Halfpenny was injured in a challenge by Wallabies centre Samu Kerevi which was unpunished but described by Wales head coach Warren Gatland as "reckless".

The head blow led to Halfpenny missing Wales' autumn wins against Tonga and South Africa as well as their opening two Six Nations victories, with Liam Williams and Jonah Holmes having played at full-back since.

Halfpenny's Wales teammate Wales centre Jamie Roberts has told The Friday Sports Panel on Five Live that Halpenny's health is paramount to discussions about his return date.

"Yeah it's a blow, whether he's fit for selection for next weekend, we're not quite sure," he said of the news that Halfpenny is unavailable for Scarlets action.

"Leigh is definitely one of the best defensive full backs around and you know the way England have been playing especially with their kicking game has been hugely effective over the first two weeks of the tournament.

"One things for sure, neither the Welsh Rugby Union or Scarlets will let Leigh play before he's fully fit and obviously Leigh's health is more paramount than anything."

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