Ton-up North's cap landmark 'scary' for Wales great Jenkins

Julian Guyer
·3-min read

Wales great Neil Jenkins has said it is "scary" that George North is about to become the youngest player in history to win 100 international rugby union caps for their country.

The wing turned centre will reach the landmark at at the age of just 28 years and 320 days when he runs out for Wales in their Six Nations match against reigning champions England at Cardiff on Saturday.

North made his Test debut as a teenager in 2010 and has since scored 42 tries for Wales.

Former Wales fly-half Jenkins, who like North has also represented the British and Irish Lions, has been able to observe North's progress as a long-time member of the national side's backroom staff.

"He has just been incredible," Jenkins told reporters on Friday. "It's scary to think he is still only 28 and he has been going for 10 years since his two tries on debut against South Africa.

"He has been on the wing for a long, long time, and is now at centre and moved there for the latter stages of the autumn and this Six Nations.

"I've got nothing but praise for George," said Jenkins, who himself scored over 1,000 points for Wales in 87 Tests from 1991-2002.

- Rees-Zammit 'talent' -

Someone at the opposite end of the experience spectrum in the Wales team, but arguably as threatening with ball in hand as North, is 20-year-old wing Louis Rees-Zammit.

The Gloucester flyer has scored three tries in Wales' opening two wins of the Six Nations, with victories over Ireland and Scotland meaning they will take the Triple Crown if they defeat England as well.

"I think he's improved no end his conditioning, all the things really other than scoring tries -- he is a try-scorer full stop," said Jenkins of Rees-Zammit.

"The game is not all about that as well, it's just part of it.

"There's kick chase, there's his aerial game, his escort lines working back and his work-rate in the back field. That's the stuff we keep on to him about and he's been working extremely hard in all aspects of the game"

"He's still a kid at the end of the day but he's some talent."

Saturday's match is set to see Rees-Zammit in direct opposition to Gloucester team-mate and England wing Jonny May.

"Jonny has scored some incredible tries in recent times, he's incredibly quick and he works incredibly hard," said Jenkins.

"'Zammo' has got a big battle on his hands tomorrow but I'm sure it's one he's looking forward to and he knows and understands how hard he is going to have to work."

Meanwhile, Jenkins insisted it was vital Wales maintained their discipline against England after defeating Ireland and Scotland sides each reduced to 14 men by a red card.

"Any Wales-England game is huge.It's a game like no other," he said.

"I have no doubt there are going to be some altercations, but let's hope they are disciplined ones and it's not on our side, anyway."