North's shock at call up

Teenage winger set to make debut against South Africa

Last Updated: 12/11/10 7:58am

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North: Set for his debut

North: Set for his debut

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Teenage winger George North has admitted news of his inclusion in the Wales side to face South Africa took his breath away.

"Warren got up and announced the squad for the South Africa game, and when he got to number 14 he suddenly read out my name. I was shocked and it took my breath away."
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The 18-year-old, who stands at 6ft 4in and weighs 16st 7lb, will line-up against former IRB player of the year Bryan Habana despite only playing seven senior games for the Scarlets.

And North insists he couldn't believe it when Wales coach confirmed his inclusion in the side as one of three changes of the match.

North said: "Warren got up and announced the squad for the South Africa game, and when he got to number 14 he suddenly read out my name.

"I was shocked and it took my breath away. Then it was over and all the boys came up to congratulate me - it was just such an awesome moment.

"A couple of months ago I was starting the season with the Scarlets, and now I am here. I've had texts coming through from the whole family. It's amazing.

"I will be nervous, but to be honest I can't wait to give it my all and play my game in front of the Millennium Stadium fans.


"Part of my shock at selection is that I have just come back from injury, but I have just got to control myself and look forward to the game."

North could not have asked for a tougher induction into life as an international winger, with Habana, who has scored 38 tries for the Springboks, set to face him.

The 27-year-old Habana, though, has insisted North should just go out and make the most of the occasion.

He said: "I would tell him what I have told some of our new guys like Patrick Lambie, just go out and enjoy it and take it all in.

"I am six years down the line as an international player and I can't believe how quickly it has gone. You have to grab every opportunity, seize the moment and take everything in.

"He must be really excited. Any time you get called up to wear the jersey, it's a really special moment and you want to go out and deliver.

"You don't just get called into a Wales squad, you have to have proven your worth domestically and George has done that. He is a big lad who does a lot of work off the ball and we will have to be at our best to stop him."

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