LEIGH HALFPENNY emerged from a punishing training session in an altitude room to help Wales become rugby union’s No.1 ranked side.
Having been left out of the initial 23-strong matchday squad, the Scarlets full-back took part in gruelling work-outs on Friday and Saturday before he joined pre-match routines at the stadium.
But Liam Williams’ hamstring tightened less than an hour before kick-off, allowing Halfpenny (pictured) to play his first Test since being concussed in a challenge by Australia centre Samu Kerevi last November, and he played a major role in the 13-6 win over England.
‘I’m not going to lie — we had a couple of tough sessions in the last couple of days,’ said Halfpenny, 30, whose late penalty sealed Wales’ 11th successive home win.
‘But you get the call, and that adrenaline just kicks in. It’s an opportunity to put that jersey on.
‘On Friday we had speed endurance training. We did Broncos, which are basically shuttles, after the captain’s run.
‘Then on Saturday morning I had leg weights followed by a watt bike session in the altitude room. I wasn’t walking too well.’
Halfpenny, who missed Wales’ previous eight Tests including their Grand Slam triumph, added: ‘You never know when it could be the last time that you wear that jersey.’
Wales coach Warren Gatland felt it was crucial for Wales to bounce back from their defeat at Twickenham the previous weekend.
‘Had we lost, that potentially has an impact later on if we met them in the World Cup,’ he said.