George North gets 'warning' ahead of Wales-Ireland in Six Nations
By Stephen Turner
Last Updated: 07/03/17 1:01pm
Shaun Edwards has challenged George North to be "on his mettle" when Wales resume their Six Nations campaign against Ireland on Friday.
North was criticised for his defensive work against Scotland last month as Wales shipped 20 unanswered second-half points to slip to their second defeat of the tournament.
But defence coach Edwards believes Wales' star wing has earned the right to escape with "a warning" rather than relegation to the bench in Cardiff later this week.
He said: "I think George North had a very good game against Italy in very, very difficult circumstances. He got a really bad bang on his leg and toughed it out well.
"Yes, he wasn't at his best against Scotland, but I think great players, who have done great things for you in the past, sometimes deserve a warning. If he is selected, I expect George to be certainly on his mettle."
Edwards blamed "individual mistakes" for the Murrayfield defeat and acknowledged a repeat performance could lead to trouble against Ireland's half-back pairing of Conor Murray and Jonny Sexton.
"I think they are the highest points scorers in the competition at the moment, so defensively we have certainly got our hands full," he said.
"They are the kind of team who keep the ball for very long periods. It is very difficult to get the ball back off Ireland. They are relentless with their attack.
"Obviously, they have got two excellent half-backs guiding them around the park."