Leigh Halfpenny hails Neil Jenkins influence

Halfpenny hails Jenkins influence
© AP Photos
Leigh Halfpenny praises Neil Jenkins for helping his progression as a kicker over the years and is looking to emulate his mentor for the British and Irish Lions against Australia.

British and Irish Lions full-back Leigh Halfpenny has paid tribute to assistant coach Neil Jenkins for helping his kicking progression over the course of his career.

The two have worked together for Wales, and are currently preparing on the Lions tour of Australia prior to facing the Wallabies in the first Test on Saturday.

Jenkins kicked a record 41 points during the tourists' last series victory over South Africa 16 years ago, and Halfpenny is looking to emulate his mentor against the men in gold.

"Jenks is massive for us as kickers. For me, he has been huge since he picked me up in the academy and I have come right through with him to senior level," Halfpenny told the official Lions website.

"He has just been massive for me in terms of my progression through the years and in preparation for every game. I couldn't think of anyone better to have bringing on the tee for me and giving me little pointers just before the kick. He's huge for me in terms of preparing mentally and technically.

"He was the best in the world in his day. We speak about memories in the car after kicking sessions now and again, but he is just focussed on getting us kickers prepared for this Saturday."

The Lions meet the Wallabies in Brisbane in the opening Test on Saturday at 11.05am.

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