George North
North joined Northampton from Scarlets in April.

George North believes his maiden season in the Aviva Premiership with Northampton Saints represents the ideal challenge following his British and Irish Lions heroics.

North was central to the first Lions series win since 1997, scoring tries in both wins over Australia down under to firmly establish himself among the most feared players in world rugby.

The 21 year old's move to Franklin's Gardens from Scarlets was confirmed last April and, with his reputation enhanced, North says the move comes at the right time following his summer exploits.

"I feel the move was right for me with of the situation I was put in and after the Lions I was really happy with my performances there," North said.

"Going back to a new club and a new environment is a good challenge for me to keep me on my toes and keep me pushing forward and progress from where I am now.

"People ask me how I will cope with the pressure and obviously it has added an extra dose of pressure coming off the back of that sort of tour.

"I'm just looking forward to playing, that's what I like to do and what I do best and even though people expect more and the pressure will be higher.I'm going to keep grinding every day to be the best I can be."

The winger joins fellow-Lions Jamie Roberts and Dan Lydiate - both of whom have joined Racing Metro - in leaving the Pro12 at the end of last season continuing the exodus of Welsh players from the domestic game.

Alex Cuthbert has signed a new contract with Cardiff Blues but due to the finances of France's leading clubs, Welsh sides are regularly unable to compete within the economic climate.

And North says striking the right balance between showcasing Welsh rugby at home and abroad is crucial to inspiring the next generation.

"It's a double-edged sword isn't it? When high profile players are playing away it doesn't give the whole image put in the best light but with the higher profile boys leaving it's time for the younger boys to come through like I did," he added.

"I currently think we need that balance. We can't retain all the high profile players, the economy in Wales just can't cope but you need a good handful of players staying there to get bums on seats and inspire the new generation."

George North was speaking on behalf of Maximuscle, the sports nutrition product of choice for elite and amateur rugby players. Maximuscle have launched a Reward Scheme to help amateur rugby clubs raise their game, for more information visit