Neil Jenkins admits it was “horrific” having to choose between Dan Biggar and Leigh Halfpenny as Wales’ place-kicker against Italy.

In the end, the kicking coach opted for fly-half Biggar to take on the duties in the Six Nations opener at the Principality Stadium.

The Northampton No 10 landed five out of six shots at goal and, then when he left the field, Scarlets full-back Halfpenny took over and slotted two conversions.

It’s Biggar who will again step up to the kicking tee first in Wales’ next Championship match against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.

Explaining how he reached his decision, Jenkins said: “I’m not going to lie, it’s horrific.

“It took me probably about ten days.

“I spoke to Leigh and said I just felt at this point in time, Dan was the right man to do the job because he had done it at the World Cup.

“I always remember he did an incredible job for us at the World Cup four years ago when Leigh missed out through injury.

“Then Leigh came back into the team and I felt it was right he did it.

“Just this time, I didn’t feel it was right to take it off Dan again.

“It’s not about who’s better than who, because anyone can argue that until the cows come home.

“It’s just the toss of a coin. They are both unreal and incredibly good at what they do.

“There’s no point me sitting there and going ‘you are better than him, he’s got better stats than you’.

“I’m not like that. I believe I am as honest as they come.

“I just felt Saturday was the right time, for now, for Dan to have a go at it. I think he deserves that.”

Dan Biggar takes a shot at goal against Italy

Former Wales and Lions kicking ace Jenkins said he was hugely impressed by the way Halfpenny reacted to that decision.

“You are having to say to Leigh, who has been the best in the world for a long, long time, that you are not actually doing it. I wouldn’t want to hear it,” he said.

“But he was exceptional to be fair to him, as he always is.

“The way he played and the way he stepped up at the end and knocked his two over, that’s what he is. He’s world class, isn’t he? He’s one of the best on the planet.

“The two of them deserve all the credit they get. They have both been exceptional at everything they do really, but kicking, obviously, they’ve been incredible.

“I know people will argue who is best and all that, but their stats would suggest that, more or less, they are the best two in the world.

“I think they both know how good each other is and they both know how difficult a decision it is.

“I said ‘Neither of you are doing it, I’m doing it!’”

As for the plan for this weekend at the Aviva Stadium, Jenkins said: “Depending on selection, we will stick with it the way it is.”