Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Stunning debut sinks in for North

George North
George North

Teenage Wales wing George North admits the magnitude of his stunning Test debut against world champions South Africa has now "probably" sunk in.

North will be back for more on Friday night when Wales look to end a five-match losing run by beating their 2007 World Cup conquerors Fiji. Wales boss Warren Gatland considered resting 18-year-old Scarlets prospect North ahead of next week's Millennium Stadium appointment with New Zealand but he is among six players currently retained from the 29-25 Springboks defeat, providing him with another chance to showcase his talent less than a week after scoring two tries at South Africa's expense.

"It probably has sunk in, but it's all still a bit different. It is an amazing feeling," he said. "I've had quite a lot of messages, guys at the Scarlets, mates back home and from college. Everyone has been saying 'well done'."

He added: "On your debut you want to come through unscathed, you want to just have a decent game, maybe get your hands on the ball a couple of times and make a few runs, but to come away with two tries obviously makes you feel over the moon.

"The first 10 minutes of the game were a shock to the system.

"I just learnt the fact that in Magners League rugby and schoolboy rugby you can do a couple of things, and then perhaps have a rest. In international rugby, you tackle someone, you get up and you go again."

The icing on the cake was provided by the warm congratulations of his opposite number last Saturday - revered Springboks speed machine Bryan Habana.

North added: "Bryan Habana told me it was a great experience to play against me, it was a privilege and hopefully he could do it again.

"From my point of view that was a big compliment.

"I've watched him for years now, and thought how great it would be to play against him, and he came up to me and said 'well done'. It wasn't a bad debut, really."

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