The centre will play his last game in the red shirt against Italy on Super Saturday

Wales centre George North will play his final game of international rugby on Super Saturday against Italy after announcing he is to retire after 14 years representing his country.

The 31-year-old will win his 121st and final cap after being recalled alongside centre partner Nick Tompkins by Warren Gatland after the pair were dropped for Sunday’s defeat to France.

Read more: Wales Six Nations squad: Gatland names team for Italy

George North to retire

North made his Wales debut back in 2010 against South Africa, becoming the joint-third youngest man to represent the country and went on to become the youngest to reach 100 caps in 2021. He went on two British & Irish Lions tours to Australia in 2013 and New Zealand in 2017.

In a statement shared on social media, North said: “I’ve decided that the game on Saturday will bring my international career to an end. After 14 years it feels like now is the right time to step away.

“I have loved and cherished every second in a Welsh shirt and been able to play alongside fantastic teammates. I’ve been very lucky to have lived my dream.

“I’m excited for the next chapter. Thank you all for your support over the years.”

North has scored 47 tries for Wales, second only to Shane Williams (58), and won four Six Nations titles and will go down as one of his country’s finest ever players.

He is third on Wales’ most-capped men’s players of all time list, behind the recently retired Alun Wyn Jones on 158 caps and former prop Gethin Jenkins who finished on 129.

In the wake of North’s retirement announcement, Gatland said: “George has contributed hugely to Welsh rugby, in an incredible career starting as an 18-year-old.

“The way that he burst onto the scene. I can remember seeing him play and thinking we need to cap this kid.

“He’s been incredible as a rugby player, but I think the most important thing is how he’s contributed to the squad as a person over the years. How positive and encouraging he’s been within and around the group, things that people wouldn’t have seen in terms of what he’s organised off the field.

“George has been outstanding and a credit to himself. He can definitely hold his head high. He and his family and friends can be very proud of everything he has achieved.

“I look forward to watching George play at Principality Stadium one final time in a red jersey on Saturday and I hope everyone will join me in celebrating him. Diolch George.”

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