Wales wing George North has enjoyed a stellar international career – but he is driven towards taking his game “to the next level.”
At 26 years of age, North can reflect on winning 80 Wales caps, scoring 36 tries for his country, touring twice with the British and Irish Lions and playing in a World Cup semi-final.
North is just three tries short of equalling Shane Williams’ Wales record in the Six Nations and he will be a major attacking weapon in Saturday’s crunch clash against England in Cardiff.
But the 6ft 4in Ospreys player has no intention of resting on his laurels during a year that will build relentlessly towards its World Cup climax during the autumn.
North will be named on Thursday in a Wales team to tackle fellow unbeaten title challengers England that Press Association Sport understands also features Gareth Anscombe at fly-half, ahead of Dan Biggar.
“There is more to give,” North said. “As the game develops, I will need to change.
“If you look at the first few rounds (of the Six Nations) and see the physicality and the speed of the game, that is where, come World Cup time, the game is going to develop again.
“Hopefully, I can keep up with it, and I think there is certainly more to give to get to there.
“Hopefully, I haven’t peaked. I think there is plenty more left to go, bits I can work on in my game to take it to the next level.
“As much as they are built-up, these are the ones (games) you want to be involved in.
“These sorts of championships – the Six Nations is one of the best in the world – and to be able to put on a Welsh jersey in any game is massive, but to do it in the Six Nations is huge. That sort of thing keeps me going, keeps inspiring me to keep going.”
North has played 10 times against England, winning on four occasions, and Saturday’s showdown is being widely billed as a title eliminator.
England will arrive in the Welsh capital following emphatic victories over Ireland and France, while North’s opposite number Jonny May has already scored four tries in this season’s tournament.
North added: “I don’t think any England versus Wales game is not built-up or doesn’t feel tense.
“It’s the history, the tradition for many years. Everyone wants to go to that game, speaks about that game.
“It’s the ‘I was there’ stuff. As a Welshman growing up, it is the game everyone speaks about – England versus Wales in the Six Nations.
“If you look at how we are in the standings, with both two (wins) from two, it’s always going to be tense when you go into the middle game both unbeaten.
“We know what’s up for grabs. It doesn’t need much bigging up this week, does it?
“They have been in great form. Tactically, they have been exceptional and are certainly in a great position.
“He (May) has been playing very well. The way that England play has certainly suited his game – that very front-foot, gain-line dominant, shifting the ball into space and kicking is a huge thing for them.
“When you have got gas like that, you can exploit it, and it’s certainly working at the moment for them. It is something that is a big part of their game at the moment.”