British writers hail Halfpenny
British writers hail HalfpennySHARE
Wales fullback Leigh Halfpenny was named the player of the year for 2013 by the British-based Rugby Union Writers' Club on Monday.
Halfpenny received his latest individual honour at an award dinner in London, joining a distinguished group of players to have lifted the Pat Marshall Memorial trophy that began with Wales great Mervyn Davies and has since included the likes of David Kirk, David Campese, Jonah Lomu, Martin Johnson and Jonny Wilkinson.
"Leigh was a convincing winner of our vote and a worthy recipient of the award not only for his performances for the Lions but his displays in the Six Nations earlier in the year," said RUWC chairman Adam Hathaway.
Halfpenny was named Player of the Tournament after helping Wales to the Six Nations title in March and Player of the Series after starring in the Lions' 2-1 triumph in Australia.
Shortlisted for an IRB Player of the Year award won by New Zealand's Kieran Read, Halfpenny came second to Wimbledon champion Andy Murray in the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year vote.
The 25-year-old scored 49 points during the three Lions Tests, breaking compatriot Neil Jenkins' record for most points in a series, with Halfpenny producing a 21-point haul in the decisive 41-16 third Test victory in Sydney.
Wales and Lions coach Warren Gatland won the Special Award for lifetime achievement, joining a roll of honour that includes fellow coaches Jim Telfer, Clive Woodward and Ian McGeechan.