Rugby

George North set for lengthy spell on sidelines after rupturing Achilles

North, 31, went off two minutes from the end as Wales crashed to a fifth successive Six Nations loss this season.

George North is heading to play in France next season
George North George North is heading to play in France next season (David Davies/PA)

George North will miss the rest of this season after suffering a ruptured Achilles during Wales’ Guinness Six Nations defeat against Italy.

North, 31, went off two minutes from the end as Wales crashed to a fifth successive Six Nations loss this season that meant their first wooden spoon since 2003.

It was the Wales and Ospreys centre’s final appearance before retiring from international rugby.

“Ospreys can confirm that George North will miss the remainder of the season following surgery on a ruptured Achilles injury sustained whilst playing for Wales v Italy,” the Ospreys said on X.

“We’d like to thank George for his time at the club and wish him the best for the future.”

North, who will leave the Ospreys and join ambitious French club Provence this summer, added on X: “Not everyone gets the fairytale ending.

“A ruptured Achilles wasn’t the way I wanted to bow out of international rugby.

“Still, I have loved every second. Can’t thank everyone enough for the support and kind messages. On the recovery train now.”

A ruptured Achilles can mean several months on the sidelines, and it was a cruel way for North to leave the Test arena.

He won 121 caps – only Alun Wyn Jones and Gethin Jenkins have played more times for Wales – and scored 47 tries for his country.

North also helped Wales win four Six Nations titles, including two Grand Slams, while he also played in four World Cups.