Northampton Saints have released a statement regarding a potential fine for releasing George North to play for Wales in this Saturday's clash with Australia.
"The Northampton Saints management has noted the media reports about a potential investigation of the club regarding George North and his playing for Wales outside the IRB window.
"Every player asks for specific conditions to be included in their agreements. This is not unusual in professional sport.
"In order to realise this rare opportunity of bringing a player like George to Franklin’s Gardens we agreed to allow him to represent Wales if and when selected.
"The Saints management wants to make it clear that our agreement with George has not contravened any laws, rules or regulations.
"However when it was finalised the agreement included terms for his release to play international rugby which were outside Premiership Rugby board policy.
"The Saints management has sought to build a squad that can compete in every tournament. This involves both establishing a strong production line of local talent and bringing in world class players when they become available.
"Sometimes this requires compromise, and while we appreciate that we are outside Premiership Rugby board policy with this particular agreement we also believe that having George as a Northampton Saints player has benefitted both the club and the league as a whole."
More top news
Cloudy and breezy, with persistent and occasionally heavy rain. This rain may stick in the east, western areas may see some late brightness.
Cloudy with more rain. This rain will become increasingly heavy and persistent during the early hours to give a wet start to Sunday
Ice hockey rivals from Peterborough and Milton Keynes prepare for their local derby match with an unusual challenge away from the rink.