George North: Wales must improve 'massively' against New Zealand

George North
George North's try against Fiji in Wales' last match was his 19th for his country
Autumn internationals: Wales v New Zealand
Venue: Millennium Stadium Date: Saturday, 22 November Kick-off: 17:30 GMT
Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, BBC Two HD, online, mobiles and BBC Sport app from 16:55 GMT; commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Wales & Radio Cymru; text commentary on BBC Sport website & mobiles

Wales wing George North says Warren Gatland's side will have to improve "massively" when they take on New Zealand in Cardiff on Saturday.

North scored as Wales laboured to a 17-13 win over Fiji at the Millennium Stadium at the weekend.

A second-string All Blacks side meanwhile were made to graft for a 24-16 victory over Scotland.

"I think there's no bigger challenge than the All Blacks," said the Northampton back.

Wales lost their opening Test of the autumn series to Australia, while New Zealand's victory at Murrayfield followed wins over England and the United States.

"They've shown in the past few weeks, even under heat, that they can still win Test matches, which is why they are number one in the world," said North.

"I think we've got to step up our game massively."

Wales' autumn Tests
Saturday, 8 November: Wales 28-33 Australia - report
Saturday, 15 November: Wales 17-13 Fiji -report
Saturday, 22 November: v New Zealand (17:30 GMT)
Saturday, 29 November: v South Africa (14:30 GMT)
All games to be played at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

The All Blacks have not lost to Wales since 1953, but North says the visit of Steve Hansen's side is all the motivation the Welsh squad need to put the Fiji performance behind them.

"When the bigger teams come in, obviously you're a bit more focused and a bit more aware of what's coming," said North. "You work a little bit harder."

Wales name their team to face New Zealand at 12:00 GMT on Tuesday.

North, 22, is in line to face powerful New Zealand wing Julian Savea, 24 and is full of respect for his opposite number.

"He's an exceptional player," said North.

"I look at the way other wingers play and I think he's a brilliant example in how to best impose yourself on a team or even on the game.

"People like to see you pop up right, left and centre and all the time he's always there."

Sonny Bill Williams on the attack for New Zealand against England
All Black centre Sonny Bill Williams is also a former New Zealand boxing champion

Another potential threat from the All Black back line identified by North is centre Sonny Bill Williams.

"He's a difficult player to play against," said North.

"He's exceptionally strong in contact and getting over the gain line, but he's got amazing hands as well.

"Something you also have to be very aware of is his running lines because he's very strong at carrying the ball from his rugby league days and it provides a lot of difficult situations in defence."

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