George North
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George North: Wales Rugby Legend Retires from International Test Matches

George North was only 18 years old when he started playing rugby for Wales’s national team in 2010. Now, at age 31, this famous athlete is ending his career playing international test matches. His last game will be on Saturday when Wales takes on Italy in the Six Nations tournament.

George North’s Great Rugby Journey

George came onto the rugby scene as a very young player. He was the youngest ever to score a try (like a touchdown) for Wales when he did it against South Africa in 2010 at just 18 years old. One year later, he became the youngest player to score in the Rugby World Cup during a match versus Namibia.

Over his amazing 14-year career, George North helped Wales win two Grand Slams and four Six Nations championships. He also played for the British and Irish Lions team during their historic 2013 tour of Australia where they won the series.

Standout Performances on the Biggest Stages

Some of George North’s most memorable performances came at the Rugby World Cup. In 2011 at just 19 years old, he scored tries against Namibia, Fiji, and France to help Wales reach the semifinal. Four years later at the 2015 World Cup, North again played a major role, crossing the try line against Uruguay and scoring the decisive try against France in the quarterfinal victory.

Unbelievable Numbers for George North

The numbers show just how special George North’s rugby career has been. He is second all-time for Wales in tries scored with 47. With 121 total appearances for Wales, he is their third-highest-capped player ever.

George North was the youngest Welsh player to earn 50 caps at 23 years, and 138 days old. Then in 2021, he became the youngest player in the world to reach 100 caps at age 28. He is the only Welsh player to appear in 4 different Rugby World Cup quarter-finals and 5th overall to play 50 Six Nations matches.

An Unforgettable Moment for George North

One of George North’s most amazing moments happened in 2013 when the British and Irish Lions toured Australia. During the second test in Melbourne, the huge North displayed unreal strength by carrying Wallabies fullback Israel Folau on his back while still holding the ball!

George North Leaves Huge Mark on Rugby

The retirement of George North marks the end of an era in Welsh rugby. His head coach Warren Gatland praised the star, saying “George has contributed hugely to Welsh rugby in an incredible career starting as an 18-year-old boy.”

Gatland added, “I remember seeing him play and thinking we need to put this kid on the team right away. He’s been amazing as a player, but more importantly as a positive, encouraging person in the squad.”

Fans Say Goodbye to George North

This Saturday will be an emotional day for fans as George North plays his final international match for Wales against Italy. The rugby legend said “I have loved and cherished every second in the Welsh jersey playing alongside great teammates. I am so lucky to have lived my dream. I’m excited for what’s next. Thank you fans for all the support over the years.”

Even though he’s retiring from international duty, George North still plans to play club rugby. He has signed a contract with the French club Provence for the 2024-25 season as the next chapter in his storied career begins.

Conclusion

The retirement of George North from Wales’s national rugby team is huge news. His accomplishments made him one of the greatest Welsh players ever. Fans will never forget watching this superstar compete and will celebrate his amazing ride when he suits up in red one final time this weekend against Italy in Cardiff.

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