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North won't be a diver

Wales wing George North would love to make a Chris Ashton-style impact on Saturday's clash against England at Twickenham - but there will be no swallow dive if he scores.

Northampton speedster Ashton has rocketed into the international limelight through a haul of nine tries in just 12 England appearances and while Ashton's trademark celebratory dive has earned him plaudits and criticism in equal measures, his worth to England as a priceless matchwinner cannot be understated.

North insists though that should he mark his first Twickenham appearance with a try, there will be no spectacular celebration, saying: "I am slightly heavier than him, so it would be a bigger collision with the ground! I don't think it would do me any good."

He added: "I think Chris Ashton has done great in the way he has switched from rugby league to union - he is a great athlete.

"I have watched him and tried to take on board the things he does well. His work-rate and his hunger to get on the shoulder of runners is what impresses me most. If you watch him, he is always there in the right place to take an offload."

At 6ft 4in tall and just over 17 stone, the Twickenham faithful will struggle to miss North should he start for Wales on Saturday, and there is no doubt he could make a significant World Cup impact.

But North's affable, unassuming nature does not allow him to talk up his billing as a world star in the making.

"This time last year I wanted to pass my exams at Llandovery College and have a good pre-season with the Scarlets," added North, who was born in King's Lynn but moved to Anglesey 17 years ago.

"So if I am lucky enough to go to this World Cup, I just want to put in good performances and cement my place in the squad.

"We are all still learning and I am just enjoying my time. I am trying to take in as much as possible. I have obviously never been to a World Cup, and I've spoken to a lot of the older lads about how it works. It has just made me want to go even more."


From Belfast Telegraph