Planet Rugby

Brown can hurt us - Halfpenny

04th March 2014 08:53

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Wales v England: Leigh Halfpenny

Wary: Leigh Halfpenny

Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny has warned that his English counterpart, Mike Brown, can do his side serious damage at Twickenham.

The duo are set to meet on Sunday, with Brown arguably enjoying the form of his career for England, and club side Harlequins.

The 28-year-old has been one of the players of the Six Nations Championship thus far, scoring tries against France and Scotland, putting Danny Care away for a crucial five-pointer against Ireland in Round Three, and topping the charts for most metres gained with ball in hand.

Halfpenny himself enjoyed a stellar season throughout 2013, where his unerring goal-kicking and sharp awareness helped Wales to a second successive Six Nations title, and saw the British and Irish Lions down Australia 2-1 in June and July.

"I couldn't ever have dreamt of a year like it," said Halfpenny.

"I am trying to maintain those standards that I set myself.

"As a player, you are always putting pressure on yourself to be the best player you can be. Ultimately, you are trying to do a job for your team and for the team to be successful.

"He (Brown) is a great player. He has been playing very well for a good period of time now.

"He has got a good attacking game, he's quick, he's agile, he is a player that can create something and one that we are going to have to watch.

"If you kick loosely to him, he could hurt you, so that is not something we want to be doing."

When Wales last ventured to Twickenham, a dramatic Scott Williams try secured them victory and a Triple Crown on the way to their 2012 Championship win. But it was Halfpenny's heroic last-ditch tackle on David Strettle that was arguably just as crucial with Warren Gatland's men protecting a 19-12 lead in the final minutes.

"I have seen the tackle played back a couple of times," added Halfpenny.

"I just tried to get my whole body behind it to try and stop him because he was coming at such a pace. I managed to get my head caught in the middle and caught his knee. I think it was fantastic work from Jon Davies and George North as well to hold him up and stop him scoring.

"I didn't really remember too much of the game when I walked off until I had a chance to watch it again.

"I had to go in for a medical assessment in the changing room, just as the guys were about to lift the Triple Crown, which I didn't realise."

A year later, of course, Wales systematically destroyed Stuart Lancaster's side in Cardiff; a 30-3 victory ensured they retained their Six Nations crown. Halfpenny is likely to be one of 11 who started in red at the Millenium Stadium that day, and knows England will be out for revenge.

"They (England) are going to be hurting from the last game," confirmed Halfpenny.

"They are going to come out and want to really bring it to us. That is something we are going to have to be prepared for.

"We are just focusing on ourselves and doing what we have got to do, with our preparation and homework on England.

"We are going to Twickenham as Six Nations champions and we are looking to defend our title. It's going to be a huge game and one that we are hugely excited about."

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