Six Nations

Six Nations Championship 2014

Leigh Halfpenny warns Wales to beware of Mike Brown

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 March, 2014, 10:54pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 October, 2014, 4:05pm

Leigh Halfpenny has warned his Wales teammates that opposing fullback Mike Brown can hurt the Six Nations champions when they face England at Twickenham on Sunday.

Brown's defensive excellence and counter-attacking skills, which led to a try for Harlequins teammate Danny Care, were key factors in England's 13-10 win over Ireland last time out.

Fellow fullback Halfpenny - the player of last season's Six Nations tournament and subsequently the series when the British and Irish Lions triumphed in Australia - was impressed.

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.
Leigh Halfpenny on Mike Brown

"He is a great player," Halfpenny said of Brown. "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."

Now bound for a big-money move to European champions Toulon, of France, at the end of this season, the 25-year-old Halfpenny had the kind of year in 2013 that is the stuff of fantasy for most players.

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

Wales will be looking for a third win in four Six Nations visits to Twickenham under coach Warren Gatland this weekend.

Two years ago, Halfpenny's last-ditch tackle on home wing David Strettle helped Wales secure a 19-12 win over England at Twickenham and with it the triple crown - the prize in English sights on Sunday.

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

"I just tried to get my whole body behind it to try to 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."

Meanwhile, England coach Stuart Lancaster has said anything less than winning the Six Nations would count as a failure for his side.

Each of Lancaster's two previous championships have seen England finish runners-up to Wales. "I agree that we need to close the deal and win the tournament," Lancaster said. "It was the objective at the outset to try to win the tournament.

"We didn't quite achieve what we wanted against France [defeat in their opening match]. That put us on the back foot.

"From that point on we've used Wales as motivation, after they lost their first game against Ireland last year but went on to win the title.

"In order to win a championship you have got to win four straight after losing the first. No one has won a title on three wins.

"If we can get the win on Sunday, it's still within our capability," he added.