British & Irish Lions

Wales star North fumes at social media 'nightmare'

George North (Getty Images)
George North (Getty Images)

George North on Friday slammed the social media trolls who aim online abuse at Wales rugby union players.

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Alun Wyn Jones was criticised on social media after England prop Joe Marler grabbed the Wales captain's genitals during last Saturday's Six Nations match.

Marler was subsequently banned for 10 weeks, but Jones was targeted by angry fans.

Wales wing North, who has made 95 appearances for his country, has often been abused as well, with even the concussion issues he has experienced in recent years not off limits.

"To be honest, that social media stuff, it's a nightmare," North said.

"It's a great platform, to be so accessible to fans and vice versa, to sponsors and players alike.

"But the flipside is hard. Someone like Alun Wyn, he gives so much every day and people can just send him something that is not true because they have misread it.

"It wears down on you. He has got a young family and he doesn't need that when he goes home.

"No one in their right mind would ever say it to his face. I don't understand why he is getting the abuse he is if I am brutally honest."

North failed a head injury assessment during Wales' defeat against France three weeks ago.

It was the latest such episode to affect him during his career, although it was his first head-related matter since 2016.

"Even walking around the supermarket, I get told I should retire," he said.

"People comment without ever seeing me, treating me, knowing my symptoms, my history. People pluck the ones from 2015 and 2016 like it was yesterday, and the story goes round again.

"The general consensus with concussion is that we are in a much better place, but you put the social media fire in there and it goes through the roof."

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