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North wants more
25 April 2012 14:26pm
By Westgate, Mike Brown
George North wants Wales to improve
George North is urging Wales to build on their recent 6 Nations success on their summer tour of Australia - the Lions' next opponents.
They crashed to a shock 31-28 loss to the Baa-Baas in a thrilling encounter last season, with Isa Nacewa snatching the victory with a last-minute try.
And North admits the latest showdown with the famous invitational club will be key preparation for the summer tour as Wales bid to build on their recent success.
"That game was a real eye-opener for us about where we needed to be leading into the World Cup," said North. "The two Poland trips helped us on that front and since then it's all been pretty good.
"It's a really important game coming up for us against the Baa-Baas. It's one you want to put your hand up for ahead of what's going to be a great tour with the big three Tests against the Wallabies."
North, who hopes to be involved with the Lions next year, insists claiming a southern hemisphere is the next step for Wales.
"We have proved ourselves here as Six Nations champions. We want to try and push ourselves against the best in the world and Australia are one of those teams," added North.
"We have been guilty in the past of slowing down after a Grand Slam, but the boys we have got here now are really keen to push on and achieve more.
"They are a hard team whenever you play them, but to go down there and have three Tests against a strong Australia side it's going to be a tough tour for the boys.
"But that's where we need to be, to push ourselves just to see where we are as a team and a squad. With the quality we have, we can achieve more and cause more upsets in world rugby."
Wales will travel 'Down Under' without head coach Warren Gatland, who fractured both of his heels in a fall at his Waihi Beach holiday home earlier this month.
Rob Howley has been appointed as caretaker coach and will lead Wales into the date with the Barbarians and the series against.
North admits it will be strange without Gatland but he is confident Wales have the quality to maintain their red-hot form.
"It will be a bit weird not having Gats there, but I think we will cope," said the 20-year-old Scarlets star.
"It's obviously bad news and hopefully he will make a speedy recovery.
"It will affect the squad with the head coach being out. But with the quality of players we have got now and the quality of the coaching staff, we will cope.
"I'm sure Howley is going to do a good job, as the whole coaching staff will."
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