Far from being overawed on the grand stage however, the likes of Halfpenny, captain Sam Warburton and George North have relished the limelight in New Zealand - and the Cardiff Blues full-back believes Gatland must take the credit.
"Warren spots talent, and once he sees that he believes in the player and brings him in," Halfpenny said.
"It has brought a new dimension to the team, and it is paying off.
"We have just gone about our business quietly and have always believed we could be serious contenders. We have strength in depth.
"I hope we are inspiring young kids. Young players have come into the side and played how they know they can. They have brought a freshness and given a real buzz to the atmosphere.
"I went from the Wales U20s to the Lions in one year. At the start of that season I was hoping to play for Cardiff RFC and maybe get a couple of chances for the Blues. Suddenly, I was playing for Wales."