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George North to eclipse Michael Hooper's 100 Test record on Saturday

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25th February, 2021
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George North will win his 100th Wales cap against England, supplanting Wallabies’ skipper Michael Hooper as the youngest to reach the Test rugby landmark.

North will eclipse Hooper in Saturday’s Six Nations clash at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.

At 28 years and 320 days, the Welsh star will beat out the Australian captain by four weeks as the youngest player to reach a century of caps for his country.

North and Jonathan Davies will form Wales’ powerful centre pairing, having recovered from foot and ankle injuries respectively, while wing Josh Adams returns after serving a two-match ban for breaching coronavirus protocols.

Elsewhere, Liam Williams moves from wing to fullback, replacing Leigh Halfpenny, Kieran Hardy is preferred to Gareth Davies at halfback and flanker Josh Navidi also starts.

Halfpenny failed a head injury assessment against Scotland 12 days ago after going off just before halftime.

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has made five changes and one positional switch from the side that won 25-24 at Murrayfield.

Victory for Wales over England would clinch the Triple Crown and keep Pivac’s team firmly on a Six Nations title course heading into appointments with Italy and France next month.

Pivac hailed North, saying: “Saturday is a great milestone for George. It is a huge achievement at his age and we are looking forward to seeing him in action.

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Shane Williams, Wales’ all-time leading try-scorer, also paid tribute and backed North, who has 42 tries, to go on to beat his all-time Wales record of 58.

“There are a lot of years left in George, I’m sure. He will surpass the 100 and keep on going…he’s a great player,” said Williams.

“If there’s anyone who’s going to break my try-scoring record, it’s going to be George. He’s still very young, he could potentially play for four or five years. It wouldn’t surprise me if he goes on to do that.”

© AAP