Halfpenny to start for Scarlets in long-awaited return

Halfpenny to start for Scarlets in long-awaited return
FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Six Nations Championship - Wales vs Scotland - Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Britain - February 3, 2018 Wales’ Leigh Halfpenny kicks a penalty REUTERS/Rebecca Naden/File Photo Copyright Rebecca Naden(Reuters)
Copyright Rebecca Naden(Reuters)
By Reuters
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CARDIFF (Reuters) - Wales international Leigh Halfpenny will make a long-awaited return from injury on Sunday when he starts for the Scarlets in a PRO-14 clash at home to the Cheetahs.

It will be the British and Irish Lions fullback's first runout since a challenge from Samu Kerevi left him concussed during Wales' 9-6 test win over Australia in Cardiff in November.

Halfpenny, 30, had been expected to return sooner but several delays heightened fears over his playing future, meaning Sunday's performance will be particularly keenly watched.

He has been training with Wales since the start of the Six Nations tournament. He was released to play for Scarlets last week but did not feature.

Wales coach Warren Gatland has said Halfpenny, who has 84 caps, needed to play for his club before being considered for the remaining Six Nations encounters.

That means he could yet feature against Scotland at Murrayfield on March 9 and then Ireland in Cardiff one week later in the competition's final round.

(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; editing by John Stonestreet)

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