Wales attack coach Stephen Jones says George North is in a “good place” as the British and Irish Lions wing goes through return-to-play concussion protocols ahead of the Guinness Six Nations clash with England.

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North was forced off during the early stages of Wales’ Six Nations defeat to France in Cardiff last Saturday after suffering a heavy blow and failing a head injury assessment. It was the sixth concussion that North – who has scored 40 tries in 94 Tests for Wales – has suffered in his career and has placed the 27-year-old’s well-being under scrutiny.

“It’s well documented that George has had concussion, but I think four years ago was his last one,” Jones said during preparations for the March 7 trip to Twickenham. “George is going through the protocols, the same as Dan (Biggar) did (before the France game). We have got elite medical staff looking after him, who are making sure he ticks every box.

“Nothing will be rushed or forced because player welfare is the most important. Every box will get ticked properly, that’s the most important thing. George is in a good place, he’s going down the correct path and he’s in good spirits.”

Wales’ back three options have already been reduced for the visit to England. Wing Josh Adams has been ruled out of the tournament with an ankle problem picked up against France.

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Wales have opted not to release Liam Williams to the Scarlets this weekend, even though he has not played since October because of an ankle injury. “Liam is training with us and getting the volume into his work,” Jones said.

“It’s nice to have him on the training paddock with us, the bubbly character that he is. Liam and Josh Naividi (flanker) are in our environment and getting the reps and loads needed to make them available for selection. We have to put Liam through different scenarios and then it will be a discussion next week.”

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Uncapped Gloucester wing Louis Rees-Zammit continues to be monitored by the Wales management team. The 19-year-old has scored seven tries in the Gallagher Premiership this season and Jones said: “We’re following Louis and the good work that he’s doing.

“We’re conscious of the fact that, when he’s away from us, he’s been scoring a lot of tries. He’s been in and around our group, so he’s doing very well as a youngster. He’s driving himself and it’s good to have that option.”

Grand Slam champions last season, Wales will head to Twickenham as big outsiders having lost to Ireland and France. England, meanwhile, are targeting the Triple Crown having bounced back from an opening defeat to France with wins over Scotland and Ireland.

“It’s exciting going up to Twickenham,” Jones said. “There’s a huge amount of history and passion associated with the game and this won’t be any different. England were impressive against Ireland, they were very physical and bring a huge amount of line speed.

“We’ve got to make sure we embrace that challenge from an attack perspective. With (George) Ford and (Owen) Farrell they have got a huge kicking game and look to shake teams defensively. But we have to try and win the aerial battle, and enjoy the physical battle of taking it to them.”

– Press Association 

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