Still the wait goes on
LEIGH Halfpenny is set to miss the start of the Six Nations, with the Scarlets saying he will be sidelined for the next three to five weeks as he battles to recover from concussion.
It is potentially another hefty blow for Warren Gatland, who currently has 10 other Wales players off limits because of injuries.
Halfpenny suffered a head knock during a challenge from Australia’s Samu Kerevi in the Test in Cardiff on November 10.
He hasn’t featured since and now his region have indicated he will not play for them before the Six Nations, with the possibility that he may need even longer to return.
Head coach Wayne Pivac said: “Leigh has seen the specialist and won’t be used for the next three to five weeks.
“He’ll continue training and doing what he’s been doing, and then he will be reassessed.
“It will be somewhere between three to five weeks, but these things take time. That’s the time frame we’re looking at.
“We will pass on the medical information (to Wales) today if it hasn’t been already. That will then be Warren’s call as to what he does because the tournament runs for longer than that. We will wait and see what they do.”
Wales begin their Six Nations campaign against France in just over three weeks. They then face Italy the following weekend, with Halfpenny looking unlikely to make those matches as things stand.
Asked about the symptoms Halfpenny was experiencing, Pivac said: “I’m not across all the day-to-day stuff. That’s for the medical team.
“He’s running, he’s training, and from time to time I think he’s been having bouts of that (headaches).
“Internally we don’t look at maybe it’s this week or next. We work on the fact that Leigh is not available at the moment. When the medical team tell us he is ready to go then that will be a boost for the squad.
“Leigh won’t play before that time, so that will be the earliest.
“Leigh is Leigh. We all love him to bits, he’s world class. He’s as frustrated as anybody is, but his health and wellbeing come first.”