Leigh Halfpenny: Dream to reach European final with Toulon

Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny missed one kick out of eight to send Toulon into the final
Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny converted all but one of his eight kicks to send Toulon into the final

Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny says it is a dream to reach the European Champions Cup final.

Halfpenny, 26, kicked six penalties and a conversion in a man-of-the-match display as Toulon beat Leinster 25-20 after extra-time at Stade Velodrome.

If Toulon defeat Clermont Auvergne in the final on 2 May they will become the first team to win three successive European Cups.

"Something like this is what you grow up dreaming of," said Halfpenny.

"You work hard day in, day out to be involved in the big matches, and the success and ambition of Toulon, I felt I wanted to be a part of that.

"I was fortunate to be given the opportunity and it was a challenge I felt I needed.

"To be rubbing shoulders with these guys, I can only feel it is helping my game."

Halfpenny could face his Wales team-mate - centre Jonathan Davies - in the final at Twickenham.

Davies, 27, helped Clermont beat Saracens 13-9 on Saturday in the other semi-final.

Jonathan Davies' partnership with France centre Wesley Fofana has played a big part in Clermont's success this season
Jonathan Davies' partnership with France centre Wesley Fofana (r) has played a big part in Clermont's success this season

Halfpenny drew a comparison between the tense atmosphere in the match against Leinster and playing for Wales.

"The intensity and physicality today was right up there with an international match," he said.

"It was touch and go throughout and games sometimes are decided by very small margins.

"You could not switch off for one second and credit to the boys. The character they showed was immense."

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