George North out of contention for British and Irish Lions tour

He suffered ACL injury during Ospreys’ victory over Cardiff Blues last weekend

 Wales star George North is out of contention for the British and Irish Lions’ South Africa tour after confirming he has suffered a serious knee injury. File photograph: PA

Wales star George North is out of contention for the British and Irish Lions’ South Africa tour after confirming he has suffered a serious knee injury. File photograph: PA

 

Wales star George North is out of contention for the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa after confirming he has suffered a serious knee injury.

It is a major blow for Lions head coach Warren Gatland, who names his squad next week.

North was hurt during Ospreys’ victory over Cardiff Blues last weekend, and he tweeted: “Sport can be cruel.

“We all know the risks when we take the field. Unfortunately, I ruptured my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) on Saturday and will need surgery next week. Heartbroken is an understatement.”

The normal recovery period for such an injury is six-nine months. The Ospreys said: “The Ospreys can confirm wing George North has suffered an ACL injury to his right knee and will be ruled out for the rest of the season.

“The Wales wing saw a specialist in London earlier this week and will undergo surgery next week.”

North was widely tipped for a starting place in Gatland’s Test team against the world champion Springboks.

He had been switched from wing to outside centre with great success by Wales head coach Wayne Pivac this season and played a key role in Wales’ Six Nations title-winning campaign.

North has won 102 caps for Wales and played in all three Lions Tests against Australia eight years ago.

The 29-year-old also toured with the Lions to New Zealand in 2017, but he was not involved during the Test series.

He would have offered Gatland a considerable physical presence in midfield and a major try-scoring threat.

North has collected 43 touchdowns during his 11-year Wales career, with only Shane Williams scoring more.

But he now faces a lengthy period of rehabilitation, having seen his Lions hopes ended in the cruellest fashion.

It is a second setback in 24 hours for Gatland after Wasps and England lock Joe Launchbury saw his Lions selection hopes ended, also by a ruptured knee ligament.

Gatland is due to name the Lions squad on May 6th.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.