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Bristol star snapped up by Saints

New Northampton signing Tom Kessell Credit: CornishPirates.com

Northampton Saints have announced the signing of former Cornish Pirates scrum-half Tom Kessell.

The 25-year-old will join Saints in time for next season after completing a short-term stint with the Pirates' Championship rivals Bristol.

Kessell was part of the Championship XV that beat Canada earlier this season, while he has also represented England Counties.

Northampton rugby director Jim Mallinder said:

"Tom has shown great promise in the Championship, and has had his performances recognised with selection for the team that played Canada last year.

We believe that he has the potential to perform in the Aviva Premiership and in Europe, and we are looking forward to seeing him develop at Franklin's Gardens."

– Jim Mallinder, Northampton Saints

Northampton Saints star North to miss Wales' clash with Scotland after head injury

Northampton Saints wing George North will miss Wales's Six Nations clash against Scotland. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints wing George North will miss Wales's Six Nations clash against Scotland at the weekend after taking two blows to his head in the defeat to England.

The sport's governing body, World Rugby, yesterday ruled that North should not have remained on the field of play at the Millennium Stadium.

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World Rugby: "George North shouldn't have stayed on the field of play"

George North. Credit: PA Wire

Northampton Saints winger George North should not have remained on the field of play after getting a head injury in the Six Nations match between Wales and England according to World Rugby.

The decision has been released in a statement and it follows a head injury in the 61st minute of Friday night's game.

North came off the field after receiving an accidental boot to the head from England lock Dave Attwood but was able to continue after treatment.

World Rugby, meanwhile, has also announced that it will be "immediately investigating, evaluating and promoting the implementation" of new measures.

These are the practicality of television match official technology being expanded to identify head injuries as they happen on the field.

"The World Rugby head injury protocol clearly states that a player should be immediately and permanently removed from the field of play where there are any visible symptoms or suspicion of a potential concussion. However, following thorough discussions and input from the expert independent Concussion Advisory Group, World Rugby accepts the WRU's explanation that neither the team medical staff nor the independent doctor had sight of the incident, and understands that the medics acted within the framework of information they had at the time and would have taken a different course of action had they had direct pitchside visibility or access to the same broadcast footage seen by those watching on television."

– World Rugby Statement

Northampton Saints forward Day called up to England squad as cover for Leicester's Parling

Christian Day has been called up the England training squad. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints second row Christian Day has been called up the England training squad for the Six Nations as cover for injured Leicester Tigers forward Geoff Parling.

The 31-year-old hasn't previously been capped by the senior team, but has turned out for the England Saxons.

Leicester Tigers flanker Tom Croft has also been called up to the squad as cover for Day's Saints teammate Tom Wood who injured his ankle in the weekend defeat to Racing Metro.

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Northampton Saints star Lawes ruled out of opening Six Nations games, while Foden awaits scan results

Courtney Lawes will miss the start of England's Six Nations campaign. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints star Courtney Lawes will miss the start of England's Six Nations campaign as he undergoes surgery to repair a troublesome ankle injury.

The second row hasn't played since the Saints' win over rivals Leicester Tigers back in December.

Northampton Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder hasn't ruled out Lawes being fit for the backend of the Six Nations.

Ben Foden will have a scan on a knee injury. Credit: PA

Meanwhile, fellow Saints player Ben Foden will have a scan today on a knee injury picked up in the weekend's European Cup win over Ospreys.

Saints captain Hartley banned for 3 weeks

The Rugby Football Union has handed Northampton Saints captain Dylan Hartley a three week suspension for an elbow thrown at an opponent during the weekend's clash with Leicester Tigers.

Hartley leaves the field after Saturday's red card Credit: PA

Hartley was sent off in the Aviva Premiership match between Saints and Leicester Tigers for striking Matt Smith with his elbow. The Northampton Saints hooker pleaded guilty and the case was heard via conference call by Jeremy Summers, sitting as a sole Judicial Officer.

“The sanction reflects the low end entry point of the offence, which carries a two-week tariff. The entry point was aggravated having regard to Dylan’s previous record and a week was taken off to reflect mitigating circumstances. As such the sanction reflects the player’s record rather than the seriousness of the offence itself.”

– Jeremy Summers, RFU

Hartley is banned until January 11, 2015. The decision means he wil miss Saints' next three Premiership matches, but will be available for England selection for the start of the Six Nations Championship in February.

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