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George North: Wales back ruled out of British and Irish Lions tour with knee injury

George North: Wales back ruled out of British and Irish Lions tour with knee injury thumbnail
George North has played 102 tests for Wales and won three British and Irish Lions Test caps in Australia in 2013 and also toured New Zealand four years later

Wales wing and centre George North has been ruled out of the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa because of a serious injury to his right knee.

The 29-year-old ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) playing for Ospreys against Cardiff Blues in the Pro14 Rainbow Cup.

North confirmed he will have surgery next week.

Lions coach Warren Gatland will name his 36-man squad to face South Africa on 6 May.

North tweeted: “Sport can be cruel. We all know the risks when we take the field. Unfortunately I ruptured my ACL on Saturday and will need surgery next week. Heartbroken is an understatement.”

North suffered the problem early in the second half of the opening Pro14 Rainbow Cup 36-14 victory.

He appeared to get his leg stuck in the Liberty Stadium turf and was in notable pain before being helped off the field.

He was featuring on the wing for his region after being used as a centre by Wales coach Wayne Pivac this season.

North played an important role in Wales’ 2021 Six Nations title success, impressing at outside centre.

His versatility and experience of playing on previous Lions tours made him a prime candidate to be named in Gatland’s squad to tour South Africa in July and August.

It would have been a third Lions tour for North after he was part of the squad in Australia in 2013 and New Zealand four years later.

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