George North feels “the potential is pretty exciting” of a British and Irish Lions squad arriving for its six-week mission in New Zealand.
North and company were due to land in Auckland early on Wednesday, with the opening game of a demanding 10-match tour arriving just three days later.
The Lions’ only previous Test series triumph against New Zealand came 46 years ago, while their fixture schedule includes appointments with five Super Rugby sides, plus the Maori All Blacks.
It all reaches a climax with three Tests against the world champions, and Wales wing North, who starred for the triumphant Lions in Australia four years ago, is likely to be a key figure.
“I think the squad Gats (Lions head coach Warren Gatland ) has picked has got a mixture of that wide rugby with great skill-sets and speed, and there is also power and some serious force up front,” North told Press Association Sport.
“From a back’s point of view, that is all you can ask for – front-foot ball, and quick, as and when it comes, to go wide, wide.
“The potential is pretty exciting.”
North’s club Northampton were involved in two end-of-season European Champions Cup qualification play-offs earlier this month, which meant he was unavailable for both pre-tour Lions training camps in Wales and Ireland.
“It was strange,” he added. “You want to be present in all the camps to get yourself in the best position to learn your role as early as you can and understand the way that Gats wants to play.
“In 2013, I was there the whole time, and to have only been there for ‘messy Monday’ (Lions player administration day on May 8 ) and the day I fly, is completely different.