George North on standby to take centre stage for Wales

Northampton Saints star an option in Wales midfield as Warren Gatland waits for injury updates on THREE centres

George North has been placed on standby to slot into the Wales midfield after last weekend’s European competition saw a number of key Welsh centres pick up injuries.

The deadly Northampton Saints wing, who scored four tries against the Ospreys on Sunday after switching to outside centre early in the first half, could be asked to switch for his country by Warren Gatland if the injury crisis doesn’t ease ahead of the opening Dove Men Series clash against Australia on 8 November.

“George went there against Australia last year and we think he’s not a bad outside centre,” Rob Howley, Wales’ assistant coach,  said.

“That’s an option for us if we need to go there.”

Clermont Auvergne’s Jonathan Davies is set to have a scan after coming off during the French club’s convincing win over Sale Sharks on Sunday after setting up their first try.

Meanwhile Scarlets captain Scott Williams (hamstring) and Cardiff Blues’ Cory Allen (muscle strain) also picked up injuries leaving Racing Metro’s Jamie Roberts as the only uninjured natural centre in the camp.

“Jonathan had a bump on his shoulder and we are uncertain as to the extent of the injury,” Howley added. “A scan has been organised for him.

“I watched the game. He created a fantastic try after he had done something to his shoulder. He has obviously felt some pain and come off immediately. We just have to wait to ascertain how bad that injury is.

“It is disappointing, but centre is a pretty attritional position now. It’s the nature of the game. It’s no different to other campaigns.

“We just have to get on and work with what we’ve got.”

Despite their reported injuries, Williams and Allen could be ready for the Wallabies’ visit and Howley played down any talk of a major drama.

“Scott and Cory could potentially be fit for next week,” he said.

“We feel we have enough strength in depth in that position and hopefully these players will come through.”

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