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Halfpenny hands Wales boost by joining Scarlets

Leigh Halfpenny has joined the Scarlets. Credit: PA

Leigh Halfpenny has handed Wales a significant boost by signing a three-year deal to join the Scarlets.

The British and Irish Lions full-back will return to Wales after three years in France with Toulon, having signed a national dual contract with the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) and the Scarlets.

Bath and Wasps had closely tracked Halfpenny, who had not had his contract renewed by Toulon, but the 28-year-old's return to Wales has been hailed by head coach Warren Gatland.

Halfpenny's future had been left in limbo after Toulon opted not to offer the former Cardiff Blues star a new deal, but now his return to Welsh soil has relieved a potential headache for national boss Gatland.

"It is great news for Welsh rugby that Leigh Halfpenny is returning to play his rugby in Wales," said Gatland.

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Campaigning suspended in Wales after Morgan's death

Rhodri Morgan was first minister from 2000 for almost 10 years. Credit: PA

Political campaigning ahead of the General Election has been suspended in Wales following the death of the nation's former first minister Rhodri Morgan at the age of 77.

Welsh Labour, the Welsh Conservatives, the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru all said they would not campaign on Thursday as a mark of respect to the former Labour politician following news of his death on Wednesday.

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Mr Morgan was first minister for almost 10 years from 2000, before taking up a role as chancellor of Swansea University in October 2011 after retiring from politics.

Current First Minister Carwyn Jones said: "Wales has lost a father figure and a great politician."

He is survived by his wife, Julie and three children.

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