George North 'not certain to start England game'

George North last played for Wales in November 2014 against New Zealand
George North last played for Wales in November 2014 against New Zealand
RBS Six Nations: Wales v England
Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Date: Friday, 6 February Kick-off: 20:05 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, HD, Red Button, Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru, S4C online, mobile, the BBC Sport app and Connected TV.

Wales coach Warren Gatland says Northampton wing George North and Gloucester hooker Richard Hibbard may not start against England on Friday 6 February.

Both players missed the historic 12-6 victory over South Africa in November.

Gatland says training sessions could be crucial in deciding who starts their Six Nations opener.

"The rest of this week in terms of training, and early next week is going to be important," said Gatland.

"But it's a nice position to be in, in terms of having some choices to make.

"We won't sit down as a coaching team until next Monday or Tuesday and start talking about a team."

Warren Gatland and Stuart Lancaster say the 2013 result between the two sides will have no bearing on their 2015 Six Nations opener.

"George [North] didn't play the last game against South Africa, Richard Hibbard didn't play.

"The team that started against South Africa will all be hoping and expecting perhaps that we are going to pick the same team."

Gatland believes that North, who has scored 95 points for Wales in 45 appearances, should be exerting greater influence on matches.

The Wales coach says the 22-year-old Northampton back needs to get more involved in games.

"Having spoken to [Northampton assistant coach] Alex King, Northampton have the same issues with George about touching the ball more," said Gatland.

"We want to see more touches and have the ball in his hands.

"When he does that he is dangerous and makes some metres for us."