In Dublin understanding that he could scarcely have got a more demanding closing World Cup audition Dave Kearney will go into battle against Wales.
Among those expecting to create an impression in a tournament warmup Test in the Aviva Stadium Leinster wing Kearney is together with the countdown continuing to Ireland trainer Joe Schmidt’s 31-man World Cup squad statement.
The match sees a first international start being made by Kearney since Ireland clinched RBS 6 Nations title glory against France in Paris nearly 18 months ago.
And a solid operation could finally see him win the vote above the likes of the Andrew Trimble, who suffered a recurrence of foot trouble in Ulster.
A proven Test match performer North, of the best group may also look to put down a mark, and possibly increase his 22 Test match attempts in Wales colours.
“I ‘ve confronted George a few times,” Kearney said.
“He’s among the top wings on earth, but in the exact same time it brings out the very best in me. You constantly wish to test yourself.
“You have to keep him in as tight as possible and not give him much space. He’s very fast when he’s going, which means you can not manage to give him much space.”
“It is an excellent chance for me personally,” added eight times-capped Kearney.
“Joe is keeping everyone on their toes, and preseason continues to be quite rough. There continues to be quite a bit of fitness work, speed work and gym work – we’ve all been training extremely hard.
“This is kind of like a fresh start for me personally, also it’s all about attempting to play nicely when you get the opportunity.”