British & Irish Lion Ryan Jones has a warning for the rest of the rugby world – fellow Lion George North is only just hitting his stride.
North cut an isolated figure for much of Wales’ World Cup campaign that was ended at the quarter-final stage by South Africa last Saturday.
That might in part be due to the fact that North missed the season run-in with Northampton as he recovered from multiple concussions at the start of 2015.
But in Wales’ World Cup clashes with Australia and the Springboks North looked close to the form of the 2013 Lions tour when he terrorised the Wallabies with speed and strength.
And Jones admits the big man, who spent some time at outside centre as well for the Wales during the tournament, is starting to fire on all cylinders.
“I think George (North) got better as the tournament went on. I felt George is a guy who had a huge amount of expectation and pressure on him. He showed at times how big a presence he is for Wales and how powerful he can be,” he said.
“George wouldn’t have taken to the field unless he felt mentally right in himself while all the medical staff would have made sure he was 100 per cent.
“Obviously it wasn’t ideal preparation in that he wasn’t able to play regular rugby in the months leading up to the World Cup so he probably wasn’t as full of confidence as he could have been.
“But it’s disruptions like that, injuries and things, which are part of rugby and it’s about how you overcome those and the character you show.
“We saw that with the injuries in the Welsh camp. You can’t go using them as an excuse. I’m sure George will be looking to show what he can do this season again.”
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