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Wales star to join Crusaders

TRANSFER NEWS: Welsh back Leigh Halfpenny is set to join defending Super Rugby Pacific champion Crusaders for the 2024 season, a source close to the Christchurch-based franchise told AFP.

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The signing of Halfpenny, who can play at fullback or wing, is expected to be announced in the next few days by the New Zealand franchise, who will be chasing an eighth straight Super Rugby title when the new season kicks off in February.

The 34-year-old Halfpenny will play his final game for Wales against the Barbarians in Cardiff on Saturday, having announced his retirement from the international game last week.

Since his international debut in 2008, the nerveless goalkicker has scored 801 points for Wales, including 15 tries.

He won the Six Nations championship four times with Wales, including Grand Slams in 2012 and 2019.

The former Scarlets back won his 101st Wales cap against Portugal last month at the World Cup, before Wales were knocked out of the tournament in the quarterfinals.

Halfpenny was also selected for three British and Irish Lions tours, winning four caps and scoring 49 points. He started all three Tests on the victorious 2013 tour of Australia, where he was named player of the series.

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Halfpenny had been without a franchise after leaving Welsh regional team Scarlets at the end of last season and there had also been speculation about a possible move to Japan.

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