George North: Ospreys wait to see if they will keep Wales wing


George North made his first Ospreys appearance of the season in the win over Benetton
George North made his first Ospreys appearance of the season in the win over Benetton

Ospreys coach Toby Booth is waiting to see whether Wales wing George North will remain at the region for another week.

However, Wales back-three duo Liam Williams (mouth) and Johnny McNicholl (ribs) were injured against Georgia.

Neither player has been ruled out against England yet.

Booth says the idea was for North to remain with Ospreys until next weekend but it remains to be seen whether fitness issues in the Wales camp lead to a change of plan.

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has Leigh Halfpenny, Josh Adams, Louis Rees-Zammit, Jonah Holmes and Ioan Lloyd as back-three options in his squad.

Ospreys face Connacht in Galway next Saturday, the same day that Wales host England in the final Autumn Nations Cup group game in Llanelli.

North, who played his 100th international against Ireland on 13 November, helped Ospreys defeat Benetton 24-22 at St Helen’s and looked impressive in attack.

“When I had a conversation with Wayne last week, I still think he (North) is with us for this week I believe,” said Booth.

“Obviously things change and we will wait for those conversations. We are delighted to have him around because he has a big impact on the game.

“George has played a part and been great all week and to have him around – the injection of a quality player who can influence on the game – is brilliant.”

Ospreys were reduced to 14 men against Benetton when number Gareth Evans was sent off for a dangerous ruck clear-out, where his head made contact with visiting prop Cherif Traore.

“For me it looked like a rugby collision,” added Booth.

“It was not even the guys he was trying to clear out, it was a coming together.

“It was head-on-head, I can’t argue with that. He has accelerated into the breakdown but we will see where that goes. There was no intent going head on head, no chance.”

Booth also revealed Wales second-row Bradley Davies is facing shoulder surgery after being forced off in the 38-22 defeat against Munster on 15 November.



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