Assistant coach Howley says North is fit for first Lions Test

THUMBS UP - Rob Howley says George North is fit to play for the Lions in Saturday's first Test against Australia
THUMBS UP - Rob Howley says George North is fit to play for the Lions in Saturday's first Test against Australia
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British and Irish Lions wing George North has been passed fit to face Australia in Saturday’s opening Test at Suncorp Stadium.

Saints signing North limped off with a hamstring injury at half-time of last Tuesday’s rout of Combined Country XV and has been battling to recover in time for the series opener against the Wallabies.

But assistant coach Rob Howley revealed the tackle-busting 21-year-old, who is viewed as a key weapon against the Wallabies, has been given the all-clear with the team due to be announced tomorrow.

“George was up bright and early. He came through a fitness test and I’ve never seen him in better shape,” Howley said.

“He’s available for selection at the weekend and that’s a huge fillip for us.

“We’ve looked after him for the last week and it’s a huge morale boost to have someone like George North fit for us.

“Over the last 12 months I haven’t seen him in better shape and that’s why we took the decision to get him 100 per cent physically well.”