LOSING their opening World Cup warm-up game against England – and with it their 14-match unbeaten run – has put Wales “in a good place”, according to winger George North.

Sunday’s 33-19 defeat at Twickenham, during which North scored his 37th try for Wales, has given coach Warren Gatland plenty to think about before Saturday’s reverse fixture in Cardiff.

While it was close to a first-choice XV for Gatland, England counterpart Eddie Jones went with a less experienced side, one that is likely to be closer to full strength at Principality Stadium.

But North insists that Wales, who could meet the Red Rose in the World Cup quarter-finals this autumn, are not panicking following their first of four pre-Japan Tests.

“First and foremost, we are obviously disappointed with the defeat,” said the 27-year-old Ospreys flyer.

“We went out to win a Test match and we were caught a bit slow.

“We have had a good preparation and a good amount of training, but the first game is always a bit rusty.

“For us it’s the first step in the build-up to the World Cup and we have a few more to get things right.

“We were a bit rusty and I reckon we left four tries out there – we were just a bit off the pace.

“We set our own standards so high from back in the Six Nations, but we are not panicking.

“We have to address that, and we have a week to get it right for the next Test.

“You never like losing games but it has put us in a good place to mentally focus and work out where we need to go.

“This is what these games are for. This is what the opportunity is, to allow us to play these big games, turn that around and play the weekend after to simulate what is coming up.

“We are still fighting for positions in the squad and every second counts in these weeks and games.”

North’s second-half score kick-started a mini revival by the visitors on Sunday, with a Wyn Jones effort soon after getting Wales to within five points.

But two George Ford penalties and an Elliot Daly drop-goal secured a deserved win for the 2003 World Cup winners.

Commenting further on Wales’ display, North added: “You always want more. In the first half we got caught slowly as a squad, in the second half we defended a lot better and got a bit more shape.

“But that last little pass went astray, and we showed our rustiness and left a few tries out there. We needed to close it out.

“But we are not hugely worried about it. It is disappointing but we have a good foundation for next week and the games coming up.”