Scarlets flyer George North has been tipped to play a starring role in next year’s British & Irish Lions tour to Australia, as well as the Rio 2016 Olympics by World Cup winning coach Sir Clive Woodward.
North, 20, has been a revelation since bursting onto the international scene in November 2010 with two tries against South Africa and he played a key role in Wales reaching the World Cup semi-finals and claiming a third Six Nations Grand Slam in six years.
With Warren Gatland in charge of next summer’s tour Down Under and North’s form of late – he has already racked up five tries in the RaboDirect PRO12 this season – he is seemingly a shoo-in to make the trip.
And Woodward, who took up the role of director of sport for the British Olympic Association in 2006 and helped manage Team GB's efforts at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, would also like to see him at Rio 2016, when rugby sevens makes its bow on the Olympic stage.
“It's like you would pick a Lions team, you'd pick your dream sevens team and it's probably more difficult to pick a sevens team," said Woodward, who took charge of the 2005 Lions tour to New Zealand.
“George North would certainly make my Lions team at the moment. Would he make my sevens team, yes.
“You’re trying to pick this team, but he's got to play [sevens], you can't just put him in to that level. The fitness is a little bit different.
“So certainly a year out, you'd like to think post-World Cup you're only 12 months away [from the Olympics] so a few players, a couple from each country, coming in.
“They’re big names, but you're not picking them for their names. Can they play sevens? Can they go and win a gold medal?”