Wales and Lions full-back Halfpenny shorlisted for award

Last Updated: 29/11/13 11:17am

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Leigh Halfpenny: Was the Player of the Series in the British and Irish Lions' win in Australia

Leigh Halfpenny: Was the Player of the Series in the British and Irish Lions' win in Australia

Sky Bet

Wales and British and Irish Lions full-back Leigh Halfpenny has been shortlisted for the inaugural International Rugby Players' Association Players' Player of the Year award.

Halfpenny starred in the Lions' three Tests against Australia in the summer, breaking Neil Jenkins' point-scoring record and being named Player of the Series.

The 24-year-old Cardiff Blues back is joined on the short list by New Zealand number eight Kieran Read and centre Ben Smith, who played key roles as the All Blacks became the first international side to win all their games in a calendar year.

"I'm thrilled," said Halfpenny. "There are awards and there are awards, but to be recognised by the people you play against week-in, week-out - well, that's about as good as it gets."

Smith has also been shortlisted for the IRPA Newcomer of the Year Award, alongside countryman Charles Piutau and Australian dangerman Israel Folau.

The winners of the awards will be announced next week, along with the Players' World XV of the Year and Team of the Year.

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