Leigh Halfpenny’s concussion woe looks set to cost him a place in Wales’ squad for the opening two rounds of the Six Nations.
The Scarlets full-back is still coming to terms with a concussion sustained in last November’s 9-6 victory over Australia at the Principality Stadium that has kept him sidelined.
Halfpenny has been seeing a specialist during his recovery period and Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac confirmed the 30-year-old was still ‘three to five weeks’ away from being cleared to play.
This prognosis would rule Halfpenny out of Wales’ Six Nations opener against France in Paris and their away trip to Rome to face Italy a week later.
“It will be somewhere between three to five weeks, but these things take time,” Pivac admitted. “That’s the time-frame we’re looking at.
“Leigh won’t play before that time, that will be the earliest. We will pass on the medical information to the Welsh Rugby Union.
“That will then be Warren’s call as to what he does, because the tournament runs for longer than that.”
Halfpenny suffered the injury when on the receiving end of a late charge down by Wallabies centre Semu Kerevi, as he punted the ball away.
And while Kerevi evaded any punishment for the challenge, Halfpenny’s return has been offset by continued headaches which caused him to pull out of recent matches against Cardiff Blues and Dragons.
Pivac added: “He’s running, he’s training, and from time to time I think he’s been having bouts of headaches.
“He’s as frustrated as anybody is, but his health and well-being comes first.”