Welsh medics praised by North

Date published: February 28 2015

Wales winger George North has praised the national side's medical staff ahead of his return from injury against France on Saturday.

North returns having sat out Wales' win over Scotland at Murrayfield after a number of head knocks in the last few months, even though he passed all the return-to-play protocols after two major blows against England.

North will become the youngest ever player to reach 50 Test caps on Saturday, breaking Joe Roff's 16-year record.

The 22-year-old underlined that injuries in rugby were always going to be part of the sport and that he had just been unlucky.

"I am obviously super-proud to achieve it, and hopefully I can keep my head down and get to my Welsh 50 as well. It was always about being in that jersey once, then anything more than that is a bonus," said North on his accolade.

"At the end of the day it is rugby, isn't it?

"It's not table tennis or tiddlywinks, it is a contact sport and you are going to get some bangs, and unfortunately they were all on my chin.

"It has been a few weeks of hard work, just ticking the boxes and taking my welfare into account and ticking all the protocols, which is what happened from minute one.

"The medical staff have been brilliant. The time I went off (in the first half) the decision was taken that I had taken a blow to the chin, and obviously there is a protocol to follow. I came off, passed all the tests, remember everything that happened and went back on.

"Obviously, when the second one happened later on it was something that was difficult for them (medics) because they were trying to keep up with play and looking at other players, and all they have seen is me getting straight back to my feet.

"When they came over to treat me, I had a full conversation with Prav. I remember everything that happened.

"From there, the decision was made – obviously after a big blow in November – and being a young pup it was worth giving me a few days to recover. It was about making sure that in the long-term it was the right decision for me."