Wales superstar George North to retire from international rugby

Wales superstar George North to retire from international rugby

Wales veteran George North revealed that he will retire from international rugby after Saturday's Six Nations clash against Italy.

North, who has won 120 caps, has been recalled to the Wales team for what is a wooden-spoon decider.

He wrote on X: "I've decided that the game on Saturday will bring my international career to an end.

"After 14 years it feels like now is the right time to step away. I have loved and cherished every second in a Welsh shirt and been able to play alongside some fantastic team-mates.

"I've been very lucky to have lived my dream. I'm excited for the next chapter.

"Thank you for all your support over the years."

North made his Wales debut as an 18-year-old against South Africa and has gone on to score 47 tries for his country, a figure bettered only by Shane Williams.

The 31-year-old also toured Australia with the British and Irish Lions in 2013 and then New Zealand four years later.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland paid a glowing tribute to North.

"George has contributed hugely to Welsh rugby in an incredible career, starting as an 18-year-old," Gatland said.

"The way that he burst onto the scene¦ I can remember seeing him play and thinking we need to cap this kid.

"He's been incredible as a rugby player, but I think the most important thing is how he's contributed to the squad as a person over the years.

"How positive and encouraging he's been within and around the group, things that people wouldn't have seen in terms of what he has organised off the field.

"George has been outstanding and a credit to himself. He can definitely hold his head high. He and his family and friends can be very proud of everything he has achieved.

"I look forward to watching George play at Principality Stadium one final time in a red jersey on Saturday, and I hope everyone will join me in celebrating him. Diolch George."

READ MORE: Sharks confirm signings of Springboks Trevor Nyakane and Jason Jenkins