North: Heineken clash with Leinster will be Test rugby standard

BIG MATCH - Saints winger George North is looking forward to Saturday's Heineken Cup showdown with Leinster (Picture: Linda Dawson)
BIG MATCH - Saints winger George North is looking forward to Saturday's Heineken Cup showdown with Leinster (Picture: Linda Dawson)
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George North believes Saints’ clash with Leinster will have the same intensity as last weekend’s thrilling clash between Wales and Australia.

North scored two tries in that encounter, but was unable to help his country to victory as they succumbed to a talented Wallabies team.

He is now back at Saints, hoping for a more successful evening when Irish giants Leinster head to Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday.

And the wing feels last weekend’s endeavours have provided the perfect preparation for the huge Heineken Cup encounter.

“The Heineken Cup is a massive tournament and for those of us who have been playing international rugby this past month it will be a case of merely stepping across,” said North.

“It won’t be a step down in standard in any way.

“For those players who have been keeping Saints going so well in the Premiership and LV= Cup while we’ve been away on Test duty it will be a step up in standard.

“But these are the games that everyone looks forward to.”

Saturday’s game is the first of two meetings between Saints and Leinster, with Jim Mallinder’s men heading to Dublin eight days later.

And North is hoping to secure more happy memories from the Aviva Stadium, where he scored a try to help Wales beat Ireland 23-21 in the Six Nations in February 2012.

“With Wales it has been a happy hunting ground for me, but this will be a different challenge,” he said.

“I’m sure it will be a very good atmosphere there and it’s going to be another massive rugby occasion.”