Wales wing options ‘open’

George North and Alex Cuthbert

George North (left) is Wales’ fourth record try scorer with 23 in 54 starts while Alex Cuthbert has crossed 15 times

Shane Williams has warned Wales’ World Cup wing Alex Cuthbert his Six Nations starting place is under threat ahead of their opener in Ireland on February 7.

Williams is sure George North will start in Dublin, but feels Hallam Amos and Tom James are serious contenders to replace Cuthbert on the other wing.

“George North will probably have a starting place,” Williams said.

“George is performing well, playing with confidence and scoring tries, while the other side is very open.”

North failed to score for club or country before Christmas, but has three tries in five Northampton games since.

Wales wing Contenders

The recent regional performances of Wales internationals Cuthbert and James, of Cardiff Blues, Newport Gwent Dragons’ Amos have caught the eye.

Cuthbert, who has scored four in his last six Blues games, has been a virtual ever-present since his Wales debut in 2011.

The 25-year-old helped Warren Gatland’s team win back-to-back Six Nations titles, starting with the 2012 Grand Slam and has a strike-rate of 15 tries in 41 international appearances, but has scored just once in his last 12 Wales games.

Amos impressed in his first five Wales games, scoring in the World Cup against Uruguay, before dislocating a shoulder in Wales’ win over England.

Alex Cuthbert (left), Tom James, George North and Hallam Amos could all feature for Wales this year

The 21-year-old Dragons wing scored on his comeback against Castres in the European Challenge Cup this January while James, recalled to the Wales squad six years after winning his last cap, has scored eight times for Blues this season.

“Hallam Amos is playing well and seems confident with his shoulder,” said former Lions wing Williams, Wales’ record-try scorer and 2008 World Player of the Year.

“Players like Alex Cuthbert and Tom James are playing well for the Blues.

“It is great for the national side that these are competing for places and that can only make you a better as a player because when you know you’re position isn’t safe, you’ve got to fight for it.”

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