Lions 2013: George North apologises for try gesture

 

Second Test: Australia v Lions

  • Venue: Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
  • Date: Saturday, 29 June
  • Kick-off: 11:05 BST (20:05 local)

Coverage: Live text commentary on BBC Sport website

British and Irish Lions wing George North has apologised and says he feels "horrendous" for a gesture he made while scoring a try against Australia.

The 21-year-old pointed at the Wallabies' Will Genia just before scoring in the 23-21 victory in the first of the three-Test series.

North was criticised for the signal and admits he regrets his actions.

"I got caught up in the emotion of the try. Looking back, I feel horrendous for doing it now," he said.

Lions down under 2013

North marked his Lions debut in the Brisbane win with a brilliant individual try, beating three players during a 60-metre run.

But the Northampton Saints player revealed he had spoken to tour manager Andy Irvine about the incident.

"Rugby's a gentleman's game and that shouldn't be involved in the game," he said. "Andy said that to me and I knew it as soon as I'd done it.

"It's very difficult to explain your emotions when you've scored a try.

"I know it was out of line with sportsmanship and rugby and feel terrible for that.

"I've had a lot of stick from the boys for doing that and am pretty sure it will go on for a while longer."

Fly-half Jonathan Sexton says Ireland and Lions veteran Brian O'Driscoll has told the Lions to seize the chance to seal a series win.

Victory in Melbourne on Saturday will clinch a first series victory for the Lions since beating South Africa in 1997.

"We've spoken about this being a once in a lifetime opportunity and we have a chance to do it," said Sexton.

"Brian put it into perspective when he said that 12 years ago the chance slipped him by. He thought 'I'm only 21 and I'll get many more opportunities'.

"Twelve years later this is his next opportunity. It's not something that comes along too often and is something that all the lads really want to grasp while they can."

Australia: Kurtley Beale (Melbourne Rebels); Israel Folau (NSW), Adam Ashley-Cooper (NSW), Christian Leali'ifano (ACT Brumbies), Joe Tomane (Brumbies); James O'Connor (Melbourne Rebels), Will Genia (Reds); Benn Robinson (NSW), Stephen Moore (ACT), Ben Alexander (ACT), James Horwill (Reds - capt), Kane Douglas (NSW), Ben Mowen (ACT), Michael Hooper (NSW), Wycliff Palu (NSW).

Replacements: Saia Fainga'a (Reds), James Slipper (Reds), Sekope Kepu (NSW), Rob Simmons (Reds), Liam Gill (Reds) Nick Phipps (Rebels), Rob Horne (NSW), Jesse Mogg (Brumbies).

Lions: Leigh Halfpenny, Tommy Bowe, Brian O'Driscoll, Jonathan Davies, George North, Jonathan Sexton, Ben Youngs; Mako Vunipola, Tom Youngs, Adam Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Geoff Parling, Dan Lydiate, Sam Warburton (c), Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: Richard Hibbard, Ryan Grant, Dan Cole, Tom Croft, Sean O'Brien, Conor Murray, Owen Farrell, Alex Cuthbert.