North sheepish over celebration
British and Irish Lions wing George North feels "horrendous" for the triumphant gesture he made towards Australia's Will Genia during last Saturday's 23-21 victory in Brisbane.
North scored one of the great tries in the tourists' history with a 60-metre solo run that saw him evade four tackles, one of them from Genia who he pointed his finger at before crossing the whitewash. The 21-year-old was criticised for a gesture that he regrets and finds difficult to rationalise.
"I've had a few words from various people. I've apologised and can't really explain what I did," he said. "I got caught up in the emotion of the try. Looking back I feel horrendous for doing it now. I'll have to live with that and take it on the chin."
He added: "I've had big words from (tour manager) Andy Irvine, which was fun. Rugby's a gentleman's game and that shouldn't be involved in the game. Andy said that to me and I knew it as soon as I'd done it. It's very difficult to explain your emotions when you've scored a try.
"I know it was out of line with sportsmanship and rugby and feel terrible for that. I've had a lot of stick from the boys for doing that and am pretty sure it will go on for a while longer."
The Lions enter Saturday's second Test at the Etihad Stadium needing victory to complete their first series triumph since 1997.
Fly-half Jonathan Sexton has revealed that a talk from Brian O'Driscoll has sharpened the players' minds over the need to seize a rare opportunity when they face the Wallabies.
"We've spoken about this being a once in a lifetime opportunity and we have a chance to do it tomorrow," he said. "Brian put it into perspective when he said that 12 years ago the chance slipped him by. He thought 'I'm only 21 and I'll get many more opportunities'.
"Twelve years later this is his next opportunity. It's not something that comes along too often and is something that all the lads really want to grasp while they can.
"(Head coach) Warren Gatland has emphasised the same thing. He wants to do it for guys like Brian and Paul O'Connell. Paul's injured but if we win he can say he was part of the squad that won a Test series at least."