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Wales: Halfpenny concussed by Kerevi shoulder charge

November 12, 2018

Australia's Samu Kerevi runs at Wales George North, right, as Gareth Anscombe makes the tackle during the rugby union international match between Wales and Australia at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Wales fullback Leigh Halfpenny was concussed by a late shoulder charge from Australia center Samu Kerevi and following recovery protocols.

The Welsh Rugby Union on Monday confirmed Halfpenny’s injury.

Kerevi smashed into Halfpenny in their test on Saturday in Cardiff, after the latter kicked to touch from inside his own 22. Referee Ben O’Keeffe took no action.

Halfpenny was forced to walk off with seven minutes to go for a head injury assessment, and replaced by Dan Biggar, who kicked the penalty for Wales to win 9-6 and end a 10-year losing streak to the Wallabies.

But Wales kicking coach Neil Jenkins was still angry on Monday at what happened.

“It’s unbelievable, how do you think that’s not a penalty?” Jenkins asked.

“Halfers doesn’t go down lightly, he’s a tough old player. He’s constantly getting up and keeping playing. For him to go down and suffer an HIA, there’s certainly some sort of head contact but the ref didn’t think so on the day.”

Halfpenny was likely to be given more than a week to recover and miss playing Tonga this weekend in Cardiff. Coach Warren Gatland hinted at wholesale changes to his side to rest regulars for the last match of the month against South Africa.

Prop Samson Lee was released from the squad on Monday. He injured a hamstring and wasn’t available to play Scotland and Australia, and Wales didn’t expect him to recover in time for its last two tests this month.

Prop Tomas Francis also suffered a back strain and wing George North a dead leg against Australia, but neither injury was considered serious. Meanwhile, flyhalf Rhys Patchell was recovered from concussion and available to play Tonga.

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