'Hate is a strong word' - North
March 8, 2014
George North has been in good form in this year's Six Nations © Getty Images
George North has distanced himself and the Wales team from recent claims they "hate" the English ahead of Sunday's Six Nations trip to Twickenham.
Jack Nowell added further spice to the encounter on Wednesday with his comments, as England seek revenge for last season's humiliating 30-3 defeat in Cardiff which cost them both the Grand Slam and Six Nations title. But while North did not play down the intensity of the rivalry between the two sides, he insists Nowell's comments were wide of the mark.
"Hate is a strong word," North told Sky Sports News. "I don't really hate anyone, I'm quite a loving person really but obviously there is the rivalry that comes with England and Wales. In recent years people have thrown the hate word around but for us it's a big game, there's a great rivalry but it's a challenge all the boys are looking forward to on Sunday."
North rubbed shoulders with several of England's players during the British & Irish Lions tour last summer but insists there is no room for nostalgia when the game kicks off on Sunday.
"It's like anything really, when you come and play for Wales from the regions, it's always funny playing against your team-mates and people you know very well," he added.
"I don't think it will be any different at the weekend. Obviously we played with a lot of the boys on tour but at the end of the day we've got a job to do. I'm sure when it's all done we'll shake hands and have a good catch up as well."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Following the passing of Jack Kyle, Huw Richards pays tribute to arguably the finest player Ireland has produced
"When Mike Burton was sent off I thought the world had gone crazy - just Pommy bashing, hitting anyone." Behind the Rose heads back to 1975
The time for tinkering is over - England must nail their colours to the mast in key positions, writes Phil Vickery
"New Zealand-born Joe Schmidt has forged the Irish into a street-smart, well- prepared side," John Mitchell on the Irish renaissance