LEIGH Halfpenny wants Wales to channel the spirit of 2013 to remain in the Six Nations title hunt.

Seven years ago, with Rob Howley calling the shots while Warren Gatland prepared for the Lions' tour to Australia, an opening weekend loss to Ireland in Cardiff put the Welsh team on the back foot.

They responded with wins on the road to France, Italy and Scotland before the famous 30-3 destruction of England that not only denied their visitors a Grand Slam but secured the championship win.

A round two defeat in Dublin has left Wayne Pivac's class of 2020 in a similar position.

This time Wales' fate is not in their own hands but if the Irish slip up against England at Twickenham this weekend then they have a sniff.

That requires going three from three, starting against France in Cardiff on Saturday.

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"Absolutely," replied Halfpenny when asked if Wales are still in the title race. "We have to focus on ourselves and we have things to work on in training and we are doing that.

"It is not all over. We are still in the hunt and have to focus game by game. We have to win our next three games to have a chance.

"We did it in 2013 after losing our first game at home to Ireland and then winning the rest. We have lost one game and we are hurting from that. We have to put in a performance against France.

"We have lost one game but it is not all over. We have to win every game now and that is the challenge. We are hugely excited about that."

Halfpenny is back to his best, showing form that would have left Liam Williams struggling to win the 15 jersey even if he hadn't suffered a slow comeback from an ankle injury.

That's a relief after the full-back was left fearing for his career because of a huge blow to the head from Australia centre Samu Kerevi after a clearance kick in November 2018.

Halfpenny suffered months of concussion problems, missing last year's Grand Slam before eventually returning and featuring in the World Cup.

"Last season was a shame because of injury but I am over that now. I am enjoying being out there. It was different when I was out with the head injury and I am hugely grateful to be back," he said. "I am still looking to improve and have things to work on."

Key to that is the more expansive style that Wales intend to play under Pivac.

"We are looking to make good decisions on the ball," said Halfpenny. "Depending on kick chase and things, identifying whether the space is there to run or if not space in which to kick.

"It is about making good decisions on what is in front of you, scanning, shifting the ball into space, running it back or kicking into space to keep going forward."

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Halfpenny & Co now plan on giving their former defence coach an afternoon to forget; Shaun Edwards will now bark orders at the men in blue before kick-off rather than those in red.

"He is a great coach to work with. What he did for Welsh rugby was fantastic," said Halfpenny.

"France will be physical and bring line speed. We are excited for that challenge.

"Working with Shaun brought my defensive game on immensely. He worked with me a lot and improved me.

"It will be weird to be facing him but that is rugby: time moves on.

"Shaun being there will bring them structure in defence and we know how teams found it difficult to break us down. That is the challenge for us."