Six Nations: Halfpenny boosts Wales for England game

Six Nations: Halfpenny boosts Wales for England game
Leigh Halfpenny had to leave the field after receiving treatment for a head blow against Australia in November

Leigh Halfpenny is over his concussion and will return to Wales training on Wednesday as they prepare to face England in the Six Nations, says his Scarlets boss Wayne Pivac.

The British and Irish Lion, 30, has not played since suffering a head blow against Australia in November but will be fit to face England on 23 February.

“It’s great to see him running around with a smile on his face,” said Pivac.

Fly-half Rhys Patchell is fit after recovering from a hamstring injury.

The pair will return to Wales training on Wednesday, with Pivac waiting for news on whether they will be released to travel to Italian side Benetton in the Pro14 on Saturday.

Halfpenny was injured in a challenge by Wallabies centre Samu Kerevi that Wales boss Warren Gatland described as “reckless”.

The blow led to Halfpenny missing Wales wins against Tonga and South Africa, with Liam Williams and Jonah Holmes having played at full-back since.

Pivac says Halfpenny has been tested fully during a Scarlets training match.

“He did everything, full contact, full tackling, we had a mini-game scenario with no hiding places and he was taking high balls, getting clattered and did everything he needed to do,” he said.

“He goes back as ‘available’, in consideration for Wales, and if they feel they need a game, we’ll slot them in (against Benetton).”

Halfpenny’s return would ease any goal-kicking worries Wales might have had if Gareth Anscombe is preferred at fly-half to Dan Biggar when they take on England.

Patchell was injured against Ospreys in December, while Halfpenny was due to return against Cardiff Blues the following week, but suffered a recurrence of headaches.

“Both trained with us yesterday (Monday) and did everything with contact, both passed with flying colours,” said Pivac.

“They’ll return to Warren and his Wales group, and they’ll make a call as to what they want to do from there.

“We’ll get a message as to who if any are released after Wales training Wednesday.

“Patch has also been out for a number of weeks and it was good to see both of them flying at everything, both can’t wait to get on the field.”

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