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North eager to turn on the style

Juggernaut wing George North wants the British and Irish Lions to gain marks for style as well as physical power on their tour of Australia.

The Queensland Reds potentially served notice of what is to come from the Wallabies during an eagerly awaited Test series by delivering a breathless first-half display at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday before the Lions eventually prevailed 22-12 in an entertaining encounter.

"Australia will play a fast game, and we need to make sure we run hard back at them. We don't want to be known as just physical guys," North said. "We want to show some finesse and mix it up a bit. We need to play as hard as we can, but we also want to play with a bit of style."

He added: "The momentum is good, and after yesterday it's a case of we know what is coming. We will be far stronger for the experience and we will make sure we are not on the back foot for the first 10 minutes again.

"The pace has picked up and we just need to start stronger. They had a terrific skills-set, and it was good to come up against them."

North, one of the most exciting players in Northern Hemisphere rugby, has certainly lived up to that reputation Down Under, with a sense of anticipation evident each time he had possession against the Reds.

But the Northampton-bound star has put a clear emphasis on the squad and continued hard work, rather than bask in any personal glory.

"I was happy on a personal level, but as a squad we have to look at the game and come back that bit stronger," added North, who will start Tuesday's clash against a Combined Country XV in Newcastle.

"We knew it was going to be a tough match, and so it proved. They came at us with some pace right from the off, but to be fair to the boys, they dug in.

"We got our noses in front, but we were worked hard for sure. We need to keep our heads down and keep working hard. We need to push on."


From Belfast Telegraph