North to start at 13?

Date published: February 18 2014

Wales boss Warren Gatland could play George North at centre against France on Friday after Jonathan Davies was ruled out through injury.

Wales boss Warren Gatland could be forced to play George North at centre against France on Friday after Jonathan Davies was ruled out through injury.

Davies will miss the match in Cardiff, after failing to recover fully from a pectoral injury while potential replacement, Ashley Beck is also sidelined with a hip problem.

That leaves Gatland with two options. He could move George North from wing to outside centre – with Liam Williams coming taking over out wide from North – or he could bring in James Hook to wear the number 13 jersey.

Beck was called into train with the squad and played for sixty minutes in the Ospreys' PRO12 win over Treviso last weekend but Wales' forward coach Robin McBryde confirmed the centre will not be in action this weekend.

“He feels he's not quite ready for the step up into international intensity,” he revealed.

“He wouldn't be doing himself any justice. He's been pretty honest with himself.

“We are a bit thin in the centre and people know the names of the individuals within the squad.

“There has been no definitive decision made and everyone is well aware of our lack of strength in depth in that position currently.”

Gatland did receive some good news though.

Lock Luke Charteris is back in contention for a place in the starting XV after missing the win over Italy with a hamstring injury against Italy.

“Luke is fine,” added McBryde.

“He trained with us last week, he has passed all the fitness tests and he has taken a full part this morning as part of the units session with the forwards, and he has come through that all right, so everything is looking positive as far as he is concerned.”

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