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Wales blow as injured George North ruled out of New Zealand Test

November 20th, 2012 by · No Comments · Features

Wales have lost one of their main attacking threats in George North

Injuries have cursed Wales since they won the grand slam last March and the plan for Saturday to reunite the back division that started every Six Nations match this year has been wrecked by a training ground mishap to the wing George North.

A few hours after the New Zealand wing Cory Jane was saying how he intended to mark the 17st North, Wales revealed that the 20-year-old had on Tuesday suffered a hip injury. He has been replaced by his Scarlets team-mate Liam Williams, a full-back who won his only cap against the Barbarians last June.

The change means that while New Zealand will field the team who thrashed Argentina 54-15 in La Plata in September on the way to a clean sweep in the Rugby Championship, Wales will be without six of their grand slam team: five are injured while the prop Gethin Jenkins is on the bench.

Wales considered moving Leigh Halfpenny to the wing, accommodating either Williams or James Hook at full-back, but Halfpenny has been one of the few players whose form has not dipped in a month that has seen Argentina and Samoa leave the Millennium Stadium victorious.

“It’s a blow because everyone is aware of the threat George poses with his strong running, ability to break tackles and work rate,” the Wales forwards coach, Robin McBryde, said. “We’ve suffered injuries to some of the mainstays of the squad and we knew the autumn series was going to be a test of our strength in depth, something that should benefit us in the long term.”



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