Six Nations 2019: Inspirational play reduced Wales duo to tears, says George North

Six Nations: Wales invoke spirit of Ray Gravell ahead of England clash
Six Nations: Wales v England
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Date: Saturday, 23 February Kick-off: 16:45 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One, S4C, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Wales wing George North says forwards coach Robin McBryde and hooker Ken Owens were both reduced to tears by a performance of a play about the late Wales and Lions centre Ray Gravell.

Welsh actor Gareth John Bale gave a private show to members of the squad and management in the away changing room at the Principality Stadium.

It was intended to inspire them ahead of their Six Nations clash with England in Cardiff on Saturday.

In contrast, England's players were given a pep talk by former England footballer John Terry.

"Muckers (McBryde) and Ken Owens were both crying," said North.

"They were fighting over the hooker's shirt at one point. I could hear 'Muckers' chomping at the bit in the end.

"The play was very good, it was powerful, the boys that went enjoyed it and definitely showed the pride that Grav had, and we all have, in Wales."

Gravell played 23 times for Wales and in four British and Irish Lions Tests before going on to become a popular television presenter and actor in both Welsh and English.

He was as famous for his passion about all things Welsh - and the language in particular - as his considerable ability as a player.

And North believes passion can still play a part in the modern game.

"I never got to meet Grav but he was a legend when I was at the Scarlets and in Welsh rugby," he said.

Robin McBryde with the ceremonial sword from the Royal National Eisteddfod of Wales at Ray Gravell's funeral
Robin McBryde at Ray Gravell's funeral service at Stradey Park in 2007. He followed Gravell in the ceremonial role as Keeper of the Sword at the National Eisteddfod

"When it comes down to it, people say a lot about the one per cents in elite sport and that one per cent could be your top three inches.

"If you are not there switched on mentally and physically to do well for your country that's wasted.

"Pride is still something I feel and I know all the boys feel when they put on the jersey.

"Sometimes rugby is methodical and you have to go through your plays, set-pieces and moves in attack, but there's no lack of pride, that's for sure.

"When the anthem is sang, the cheering has finished and the whistle goes, everybody wants to be there.

"You look back on being a young boy playing in the park and those memories goes through your mind as you get ready to go."

Wales and England are the only two unbeaten teams left in the competition, though Eddie Jones' side have been more impressive in their defeats of Ireland and France than Wales were in beating Italy and France.

Warren Gatland's team have not beaten England since the 28-25 win at Twickenham in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

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