The Crusaders are absolutely thrilled to confirm Leigh Halfpenny has signed with the franchise for the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific season.
The 34-year-old is a legend of international rugby, having played more than 100 matches for Wales and nearly 200 first class matches for professional clubs across Europe. He’s scored 801 points for his country making him the third-highest Welsh point scorer.
Halfpenny will bring maturity and a new perspective on our back line, slotting in alongside the likes of Will Jordan, Sevu Reece, Macca Springer and Chay Fihaki.
“I’ve always watched Super Rugby and the Crusaders are the team I’ve always followed,” Halfpenny said shortly after signing his one-year contract.
“I’m extremely grateful to have the opportunity to join one of the best clubs in the world and I can’t wait to meet everyone.
“Rob Penney and his team couldn’t have been any more welcoming and I feel hugely honoured to be joining them.
“I’ve always loved the time I’ve spent in New Zealand on tour. It’s a passionate rugby nation and I’ve always been made to feel very much at home there. My family and I are very excited about the move.”
Rob Penney, Crusaders Head Coach, said signing Halfpenny for the 2024 season was “a massive coup for us”.
“Leigh’s a footballer with a huge amount of experience, charisma and skill,” Penney said.
“We had our feelers out for a while, and Leigh was finishing up his time with Wales and still had a big desire to play at the highest level, so it’s a great fit for us.
“Leigh adds even more maturity to our backline, while also bringing in some Northern Hemisphere perspective, so yeah, we’re excited about what he’ll bring into camp.”
Halfpenny debuted for Wales in 2008 and has earned more than 100 caps for his country. He played in the 2011, 2019 and 2023 Rugby World Cup, the Welsh team making the playoffs in all three tournaments Halfpenny attended. He’s played four tests for the British & Irish Lions and most recently, 55 matches for the Llanelli-based Scarlets, one of four Welsh professional teams.
He retired from international test rugby on 25 October and played his last game for Wales last weekend against the Barbarians (coached by former Crusaders Head Coach Scott Robertson and recently-departed Wallabies coach Eddie Jones). Halfpenny kicked five from five and received a standing ovation from the 53,000 crowd when he was replaced.
We can’t wait to see Leigh down south, pulling on the jersey and adding not only to his own legacy, but to the legacy of the Crusaders. Bring on ’24.