Leigh Halfpenny: Wales full-back wins Rugby Union Writers' award

Leigh Halfpenny
Leigh Halfpenny

Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny has won the Rugby Union Writers' Club Player of the Year Award for 2013.

The 25-year-old, who was voted man of the series in the British and Irish Lions win over Australia last summer, picked up the Pat Marshall Trophy.

Martin Johnson, Jonny Wilkinson, Sam Warburton, Jonah Lomu and Lawrence Dallaglio are among past winners.

Wales and Lions coach Warren Gatland was named winner of the special award for lifetime achievement.

Halfpenny was shortlisted for the IRB Player of the Year award and was 2013 Six Nations Player of the Tournament after helping Wales to the title in March.

BBC Wales' Sports Personality of the Year then came second to Wimbledon champion Andy Murray in the BBC's main Sports Personality of the Year vote.

He scored 49 points in the summer's three Lions Test matches, breaking Neil Jenkins' record for most points in a series including 21 in the 41-16 third Test win in Sydney.

Gatland, who coached the Lions to a 2-1 Test series victory over Australia in 2013, won the special award for lifetime achievement joining amongst others Sir Clive Woodward, Cliff Morgan, Jim Telfer and Sir Ian McGeechan on the roll of honour.

At a dinner in London on Monday night, tankards for unsung heroes of rugby were presented to Rob Smith the former Wasps player, coach and academy manager, Sam Drury who has played 700 games for Ossett Rugby Club and Roy Lewis, a stalwart of Ebbw Vale.