George North Recalls Hilarious Lions Story About Rooming With Paul O’Connell
What a brilliant story.
George North recently sat down with Will Greenwood for episode 2 of Land Rover’s Tracking The Lions and recalled an absolutely brilliant story about rooming with the legendary Paul O’Connell ahead of the 2013 tour of Australia.
North was just 21 at the time and in awe of the fact that he was about to meet O’Connell, who he calls a ‘legend’ and a ‘hero’ of the game.
“I don’t know if Paul O’Connell will like me telling this story, but I’m gonna tell it anyway because it’s a funny story…”
“I was in camp in Cardiff, the rooming list comes up and I was sharing with Paul O’Connell. I walk in and I see Paulie’s bags on the floor and I’m like wow. I’ve not really spoken to Paul before apart from after a game briefly.”
“I’m thinking oh my god what do I say to this man now. A legend, let’s face it, of the game, and that’s not a word I like to bat around but he is as you well know – a hero.
‘So I’m sat there on my bed, waiting for him to come out, thinking do I stand up and shake his hand? Do I hug him? But he’s just out of the shower it’s a bit weird now…”
“So then basically while all this is going on I can start hearing him singing a song. And in his broad Irish accent he starts singing Shakira. You know that one, the Hips Don’t Lie. Oh baby when you talk like that! In the most Irish accent ever. And then he goes Shakira Shakira and at that point I absolutely burst out laughing.
And when he came out then I thought… oh he’s normal.”