TEENAGE rugby star George North has become one of the leading lights of Wales’ Grand Slam side.
After scoring a try in the first match against Ireland, North went on to start every game, breaking a series of records along the way.
The former Ysgol Uwchradd Bodedern pupil has developed into one of rugby’s brightest prospects, but as his Twitter bio will tell you, he is still proud of his Anglesey roots: “Just a Northwalian got lost down south:)!”
Over the course of his short international rugby career, North has made a significant impact to the Wales side.
At a time when the career of legendary winger Shane Williams was drawing to a close, Warren Gatland found another flying winger of a different kind.
Standing at 6ft 4in and weighing over 17 stone, North’s sheer strength and physicality has seen him being compared to the likes of New Zealand legend Jonah Lomu.
And after he scored two tries on his debut against the then-World Champions South Africa in October 2010, pundits were quick to praise the prodigious talent, but North remains typically modest about these kinds of comments.
“Obviously it’s a great compliment to hear the things said about me,” he told the Daily Telegraph. “But it’s been a hard journey for me really; just ask any north Walian who’s come through, they have to work extra hard just to get the same chances.”
As the only member of the squad to have come from north Wales, North is in an unique position.
The first club he played for at junior level was Llangefni RFC, but he was forced to leave the island as the club struggled to find regular opponents.
“I had to go looking for games,” he told the Daily Telegraph. “You work hard all week just for a game on a Saturday and then you turn out and you haven’t got enough players, it was really disappointing.”
After stints with Pwllheli and Rhyl, North received his first international call up while at Ysgol Uwchradd Bodedern, representing the Wales under 16’s side.
At the age of 17, North was snapped up by professional outfit Llanelli Scarlets, and after an impressive start to his domestic career, Warren Gatland came calling for the teenager.
Since then, North has become a key member of a young, ruthless Welsh side which powered to the Grand Slam title, beating each opponent along the way,
After victory in the decider against World Cup runners up France, North tweeted:
“Wow what a day!!! Grand slam winners :) #bestdayever”.
Still only at the age of 19, Welsh rugby fans have a lot to look forward to, as they hope the best days are yet to come for North and co.