George North is hungrier than ever to rediscover his mojo this season after a tumultuous summer, according to Wales legend Martyn Williams.
The two-time British & Irish Lion tourist and series-winner from 2013 featured just three times in New Zealand this summer before a hamstring injury curtailed his time down under.
But having burst back onto the scene with Saints this season, Williams believes North can put his inconsistent 12 months behind him.
He said: “It is a tough on George, I played alongside him on his debut when he was 18 and he came in and scored two tries.
“You forget he is still a young man, it feels like he has been going on forever but he is still learning the game and learning about life in many ways.
“But there is a lot of pressure on George’s shoulders. It is never just an upward graph for any player, you have ups and downs.
“And George has had an up and down 12 months. Firstly, with injuries, which must have been very hard for him.
“That then co-insides with form so it is no wonder he has struggled but he is a phenomenal player and he is back playing for the Saints now.”
North produced a fine performance in his first match back for the Saints, against Leicester at Franklin’s Gardens, and backed that up by scoring the bonus-point try against Bath last Friday.
And Williams is adamant North is hungrier than ever to prove his worth.
“He looks to me to be back to the old George North," the Welsh centurion said. "He has a big year ahead and he is one of our word class players.
“Because he is such an iconic player, especially after what he did on the last Lions Tour in 2013 and what he does for Wales, he is a poster-boy since he was 18.
“But he has had to learn the game in the spotlight. Most players learn under the radar, but George is out there and everyone watches him.
“He will come back strongly. He is at a good club in Northampton and I am sure he is hungry after what happened with the Lions.
“He will be hungry to prove a point.”
The Rugby Centurions have inspired others through their passion, integrity and discipline on the field, and now their legacy will live on through this extraordinary association. For more information on Rugby Centurions and the Gala Dinner on November 23 at Hilton Metropole; visit: www.rugbycenturions.com