Sunday 26 May 2019

Watch: George North recalls hilarious tale about Paul O'Connell belting out Shakira song in the shower

Paul O'Connell with George North and (inset) Shakira
Paul O'Connell with George North and (inset) Shakira

Harry Clarke

George North has spilled the beans on Paul O'Connell - the Irish legend sings Shakira's Hips Don't Lie while in the shower.

Teak tough, no-nonsense O'Connell roomed with North on Lions duty four years ago, a scenario which left the Welshman slightly nervous about meeting "one of the legends of the game".

Only 21 at the time, North entered the room to see O'Connell's bags on the floor and the realisation dawned on him - how to do greet a man like O'Connell? What do you say?

As various thoughts bounced around North's head, the situation changed when he realised O'Connell was in the shower.

"I don't know if Paul O'Connell will like me telling this story but I'm going to tell it anyway because it's a funny story," said North, speaking to Will Greenwood in Land Rover's Tracking The Lions video series.

"So I was in camp in Cardiff and 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.

I've not really spoken to Paul apart from after a game, very briefly. So I'm thinking 'oh my god what am I going to say to this man now'. He's 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.

"Anyway, so I'm sat there on the bed, waiting for him to come out and I'm thinking 'Do I stand up? Shake his hand? Do I hug him? He's in the shower so it's weird now'.

"While all this is going on, I start to hear him singing a song and in his broad Irish accent he starts singing Shakira, 'The hips don't lie. Oh baby when you talk like that', in the most Irish accent!

"And then he goes, 'Shakira, Shakira,' and at that point I absolutely burst out laughing! And when he came out I just knew he's good."

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