Wales wing George North confident over groin injury

James Bevan Trophy - Wales v Australia

Venue:
Millennium Stadium
Date:
Saturday, 3 December
Kick-off:
1430 GMT
Coverage:
Exclusively live on BBC One & online, full coverage on BBC Radio Wales & Radio Cymru
George North
North made his Wales debut against South Africa in November 2010

Wing George North is confident of being fit for Wales' Test against Australia despite suffering a groin injury during the Scarlets win at Northampton.

North was helped off the field at Franklin's Gardens in the 77th minute after receiving a heavy blow during the Heineken Cup match.

He was named in Wales' 28-man squad and is back in training.

"I've trained pretty well over the last few days and the scan came up okay," North said.

"I spent the weekend on ice and then slowly back into it now."

But although 19-year-old North is set to be fit, Wales' injury list is mounting ahead of the Australia game.

Alun Wyn Jones has already been ruled out and there are doubts over Adam Jones, Luke Charteris and Dan Lydiate.

Ospreys prop Adam Jones missed his side's Heineken Cup game at Treviso last Saturday after he failed to pass a late fitness test on a calf injury.

Second-rower Alun Wyn Jones will undergo surgery on a dislocated toe while Luke Charteris is a doubt with a wrist injury.

Ryan Jones replaced Jones for Ospreys' European visit to Treviso.

And the versatile 30-year-old is favourite to partner Bradley Davies in the second row for the Australia showdown.

Charteris and Alun Wyn Jones were Gatland's first-choice second row pairing when Wales finished fourth at the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

So lock Jones' absence is another blow for the Wales coach.

Bayonne scrum-half Mike Phillips has hinted he may miss the December international. Non-Welsh clubs do not have to release their players for games outside the International Rugby Board window, unless individual contracts allow.

Perpignan fly-half James Hook will definitely miss the fixture because the game is not an IRB sanctioned game.

And Clermont Auvergne full-back Lee Byrne, Exeter prop Craig Mitchell and Sale Sharks pair Andy Powell and Dwayne Peel are also doubtful for the same reason.

Gatland's Wales squad meet on Monday to begin their Australian preparation but the Kiwi coach also has fitness worries over Leigh Halfpenny (ankle), Huw Bennett (neck) and Jonathan Thomas (thigh).

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