Six Nations: George North provides exciting centre option - Pivac

George North has started four of his 91 Test appearances for Wales in the centre
George North has started four of his 91 Test appearances for Wales in the centre

Wayne Pivac says George North can provide an exciting centre option for Wales during the Six Nations.

British and Irish Lions centre Jonathan Davies and Willis Halaholo will miss the tournament with knee injuries, while Owen Watkin is sidelined for at least the opening game against Italy on 1 February.

This leaves Pivac considering switching North from wing to centre.

"If it comes off, it could be very, very exciting," said Pivac.

North has played the last two games at outside centre for Ospreys against Munster and Saracens and is now training in the position with the Wales squad.

"We had a chat to Carl Hogg (forwards coach) at the Ospreys and they were already going to put George there," said Pivac.

"We were hopefully going to see that happen and it has, so it's been great for us.

"George is a guy that can play on the wing, we know that, and we are having a look at him at centre in training.

"He is showing a good attitude and a good appetite to give it a crack, so that's pleasing."

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Wales 'in great place' North

Fellow wing Josh Adams was switched to centre in the second-half of Pivac's first game in charge of Wales' uncapped win against the Barbarians in November.

But Pivac says North would be the frontrunner to wear the number 13 jersey if they decided to play somebody out of position.

"He's played there before and these couple of club games have been invaluable for us to see him there.

"In training, he is picking up the baton and running with it. He's got a smile on his face, which is good to see."

The other main option at outside centre would be new squad member Nick Tompkins.

Tompkins is one of three Saracens players in the 38-man Wales squad, along with Liam Williams and prop Rhys Carre.

Saracens' squad is in danger of being broken up next season due to their impending relegation to the Championship over repeated salary breaches.

Williams has already agreed to rejoin Scarlets for next season and could figure during this campaign for the Welsh region if an agreement can be reached between both clubs.

Pivac says he would support Carre and Tompkins also playing regional rugby in Wales.

"Certainly that could be an option and if that's the case, we'd embrace that," he said.

"Obviously the more of our players playing in Wales works for us and I wouldn't be opposed to that."

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