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

News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
Arts and Entertainment
As depicted in Disney's Robin Hood, King John was cowardly, cruel, avaricious and incompetent
film
News
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
businessUber, Snapchat and Facebook founders among those on the 2015 Forbes Billionaire List
News
Homer’s equation, in an episode in 1998, comes close to the truth, as revealed 14 years later
science
News
news
News
people
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

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn