George North vows Wales will push for bronze medal

 

George North has vowed that Wales intend to "have a crack" and bring the curtain down on their World Cup campaign in exhilarating trademark fashion.

Wales face Australia in Friday's World Cup bronze medal match at Eden Park, a game that neither side wanted, but one which could catch fire, given both teams' try-laden back divisions.



North and company are on the back of an agonising 9-8 semi-final loss to France, while Australia have had one day less to dust themselves off following a 14-point defeat against New Zealand.



Wales will be without suspended skipper Sam Warburton - prop Gethin Jenkins leads the team in his absence - but coach Warren Gatland has retained 12 of the side that started against France.



Gatland's Wallabies counterpart Robbie Deans, meanwhile, has made six changes up front - lock Nathan Sharpe wins his 100th cap - and recalled fit-again full-back Kurtley Beale, while partnering Adam Ashley-Cooper and Berrick Barnes in midfield.



"This is a young group of guys, and the way we are playing we are just enjoying our rugby," said 19-year-old wing North.



"That is going to be the key for us looking to the future.



"Everyone is excited to get a chance to play against a southern hemisphere side down in New Zealand. It is a great opportunity.



"There are very similar attributes in both the teams. We enjoy to play, throw the ball around and have a crack.



"Hopefully, it won't just be a boring 3-all game. Hopefully, it will be a good game to finish with, have a crack and enjoy it."



The Wales squad will head home on Saturday, having won four games and lost two - against South Africa and France, both by a point - and North reflects a wider view in New Zealand that they do not deserve another defeat.



"It's obviously disappointing, but you never know what is going to happen, do you?" he added.



"With the talent we have in the squad and in the team, it will be a great game to watch.



"We look on ourselves these days and we are playing with what I guess people would call no fear.



"But it's not no fear, it's the confidence and ability and the confidence around us, everyone playing for each other and for the benefit of the team."



Wales, if they are able to keep the overwhelming majority of their existing squad together, will be serious contenders for the 2015 World Cup in England.



And North is enthused by a stellar group of young talent that has taken the tournament by storm.



"We have Toby Faletau (20), Scott Williams and Lloyd Williams (both 21), Sam Warburton, Dan Lydiate (both 23), and Rhys Priestland.



"It has been a great experience, and if all the boys are picked (in 2015), it will be another great chance.



"All the boys in the squad have really enjoyed every second. Personally, I've loved it. It has been a great two months for me out here and a great learning curve.



"I've learnt little things about my trade. Things I didn't know about, things I'm looking forward to try out and things I have to take forward to improve my game.



"It's come out of this World Cup, the back-threes' massive work-rate, and that is something I am looking to improve in my game.



"It is okay, but there is lot more to come, and I think that will add another dimension to my game.



"The massive support we've had, both here and back home, has been absolutely huge for us. To have 61,000 watching the semi-final at the Millennium Stadium was incredible.



"So I want to say a massive thanks to everybody who came out and supported us, in New Zealand and back home. Everyone really appreciates that."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
News
people
News
20. Larry Page: Net worth: $23 billion; Country: U.S; Source of wealth: Google
business
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
A collection of 30 Banksy prints at Bonhams auction house in London
art
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness