GEORGE North is “heartbroken” after a knee injury ended his hopes of a third tour with the British and Irish Lions.

The 29-year-old suffered a blow in the Ospreys’ Rainbow Cup victory against Cardiff Blues on Saturday.

North saw a specialist in London and will undergo surgery next week after scans revealed he has ruptured ligaments in his right knee.

North tweeted: "Sport can be cruel. We all know the risks when we take the field. Unfortunately I ruptured my ACL on Saturday and will need surgery next week. Heartbroken is an understatement."

Warren Gatland will name his 36-man squad to face South Africa next Thursday.

North was a contender thanks to helping Wales to the Six Nations title after being moved from wing to centre.

He would have completed a clean sweep of Lions tours after being part of the squad that beat Australia in 2013 and drew with New Zealand four years ago.

North has won 102 caps for Wales and played in all three Lions Tests against Australia eight years ago. He did not feature in the clashes against the All Blacks.

He would have offered Gatland a considerable physical presence in midfield and a major try-scoring threat.

North has collected 43 touchdowns during his 11-year Wales career, with only Shane Williams scoring more.