North injury leaves Lions hopes in balance

London (AFP) –


Wales' George North faces an anxious wait to see if he will be fit for the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa after suffering a leg injury on Saturday.

North, turning out for the Ospreys against Cardiff Blues in Swansea, appeared to get stuck in the turf during the second half of the opening Pro14 Rainbow Cup match between the Welsh rivals.

The 29-year-old wing cum centre looked to be struggling with a knee injury as he was helped off the field at the Liberty Stadium.

North, whose tally of 105 caps includes three Test for the Lions during their victorious 2013 tour of Australia, played a key role in Wales winning this season's Six Nations Championship

Although best known as a wing, he was deployed at centre by Wales coach Wayne Pivac in the Six Nations.

North, also on the 2017 Lions tour of New Zealand before a hamstring tear ruled him out of a drawn Test series against the All Blacks, was back out wide in a match the Ospreys won 36-14.

This versatility was seen as a bonus when it came to gaining a place in Lions coach Warren Gatland's squad for a July-August trip that includes three Tests against the world champion Springboks.

The New Zealander, a former Wales coach, is due to name his tour party on May 6.