Le Roux: Wales have options to replace Halfpenny

Willie le Roux (Gallo)
Willie le Roux (Gallo)

Cape Town - Springbok fullback Willie le Roux says Wales will be able to adapt without the services of the experienced Leigh Halfpenny.

The Welsh fullback has been ruled out of Saturday’s Test in Cardiff due to concussion.

Halfpenny, who has played 80 Tests for Wales, was on the receiving end of a challenge by Australia centre Samu Kerevi when Wales beat the Wallabies 9-6 on November 10.

“I’ve played a few times against him, he’s a world-class player, world-class fullback and a world-class goal-kicker who doesn’t miss. But Wales can put Liam Williams or Gareth Anscombe there, with George North on the wing,” Le Roux said at a press conference in Cardiff on Tuesday.

Halfpenny is Wales’ first-choice goal-kicker, with more than 700 points for his country, but they have other strong options in that area, able to call on Anscombe, Dan Biggar and Rhys Patchell.

Meanwhile, assistant coach Rob Howley confirmed that North is back in training after suffering a dead leg during the Wallabies clash.

"I'm glad to say George North is back in full training," Howley said on Tuesday. "He trained this morning and is available for selection."

The Welsh are on an eighth-match win-streak and currently occupy third spot on the official World Rugby rankings but Le Roux added that the Boks would be up for the challenge.

“The squad is looking forward to it. This is the last game of the season for a lot of the guys, so one more week of hard work and they can have some time off.

“I don’t think it’s difficult (to produce one last big effort). It’s your job and when you play for South Africa, you’re representing your country. To end the tour on a high would be unbelievable for the squad and the people back home,” Le Roux said.

Saturday's Test is scheduled for 19:20 (SA time).

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