British & Irish Lions

Massive blow for British Lions as George North ruled out of SA tour: 'Sport can be cruel'

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George North
George North
CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP

Welsh Test centurion George North will miss the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) playing for the Ospreys against Cardiff Blues in the PRO14 Rainbow Cup last weekend.

The outside back was aiming to feature in his third Lions tour after playing in Australia in 2013 and New Zealand in 2017, whence he accumulated three Lions Test caps.

The 29-year-old North has played 102 times for his country and was hoping to add to his illustrious career by completing a rare tour treble, playing in all three countries that the Lions visit.

"Sport can be cruel," North tweeted on Wednesday. 

"We all know the risks when we take the field. Unfortunately, I ruptured my ACL on Saturday and will need surgery next week.

"Heartbroken is an understatement."

The Lions tour to South Africa is scheduled between 3 July and 7 August.

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