Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Bosch advice boosts North

George North, right, expects a tough match against the Wallabies on Saturday

Dutch sprint coach Frans Bosch will take a slice of the credit if George North plays another starring role for the British and Irish Lions on Saturday.

North lit up the Test series against Australia with a blistering 60-metre solo try in last Saturday's opener, which underpinned a 23-21 Lions victory. Wales wing North will again be a key component in the Lions' attacking armoury at the Etihad Stadium, where victory would secure Test series glory one game inside the distance.

And the 21-year-old has put much of his rapid progress down to biomechanics expert Bosch, whose varied roles include being sprint consultant to the Wales rugby squad. "Frans is a speed man, and while it doesn't happen overnight I have got faster since meeting him," North said. "I am getting the rewards now."

North added: "I was just a schoolboy when I met him and I just used to run over the b******, but now I know how to angle my runs. I have a lot more confidence now. I think I showed that with my try (last Saturday). I gathered the ball and I thought about setting up the ruck, but it just opened up for me and I was able to finish it off.

"You do a lot of work on phase play, but sometimes it's nice when something like that just comes off."

If North breaches the Wallabies defence again on Saturday, one thing he will not be doing is repeating a finger-wagging celebration - scrum-half Will Genia was Australia's final defender on the receiving end - however much it might mean to him.

Lions tour manager Andy Irvine was among those who offered a few words in North's ear once the dust had settled on a memorable win.

"I've apologised," North added. "I can't really explain what I did. I just got caught up in the whole emotion of it all. Looking back, I do feel horrendous for doing it, and I will need to live with that. I will take it on the chin."

North expects no let-up in the pace and ferocity on Saturday, especially as Australia know they have to win or see their series hopes evaporate.

"For them this weekend it is do-or-die, so we know they are going to come at us. The pace is going to be higher again," he added. "We are just focusing on the rugby, it's not our job to talk it up. We came here with one common goal, and that was to win the Test series."

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