herald

Friday 2 December 2016

No George North in Wales warm-up game against Ireland

George North
George North

Wales skills coach Neil Jenkins has delivered an upbeat bulletin on star wing George North as the World Cup countdown moves into its Test match warm-up phase.

North missed the final 10 weeks of last season after being concussed for a third time in five months.

And while Jenkins believes it is unlikely that the 23-year-old, who has scored 22 tries during a 49-cap Wales career, will be involved against Millennium Stadium visitors Ireland next Saturday, North continues to make promising progress.

"George has been doing most of the stuff with the rest of the guys," Jenkins said. "He is still picking up on a few things, and that's to do with the medical staff.

"I wouldn't have thought he would be involved this weekend, but I am sure three weeks down the road he could be involved in the Dublin game (against Ireland)."

Wales' 40-plus World Cup training squad is now back at its Vale of Glamorgan base following gruelling camps in Switzerland and Qatar, from where preparations will continue for the opening warm-up game before a return fixture at the Aviva Stadium on August 29 and then a Cardiff appointment with Italy seven days later.

Wing Liam Williams (foot) and prop Samson Lee (Achilles) are both currently battling back to full fitness and could miss the entire warm-up schedule, with Wales head coach Warren Gatland due to name his final World Cup squad on August 31.

Wales' first warm-up clash - which is set to be a Millennium Stadium sell-out - should see World Cup squad candidates like Gareth Anscombe, Ross Moriarty and Tyler Morgan receive an opportunity, with Gatland's starting line-up being announced today.

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