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George North to leave Northampton at end of season

George North has been with Northampton Saints since 2013 Credit: PA

Wales wing George North will leave Northampton at the end of the season after agreeing a national dual contract with the Welsh Rugby Union, the WRU has announced.

The flying winger was instrumental in securing a 2017/18 European Rugby Champions Cup place for Northampton as his side beat both Connacht Rugby and Stade Francais to claim the final spot in the competition.

The juggernaut wing, who has won 69 Wales caps and scored 30 tries, has agreed a deal from next term, the Welsh Rugby Union announced on its official Twitter feed.

Northampton released their own statement confirming 25-year-old North's departure. It is not known at this stage which of the four Welsh regions he will join.

During North's four-year spell with the Saints, he played 104 times amassing 160 points in the process.

Northampton avoid sanction over North concussion

North could feature in Friday’s Premiership clash with Sale. Credit: Reuters

Northampton were wrong to return George North to the field of play following a head injury against Leicester but have escaped any sanction, the Concussion Management Review Group (CMRG) has found.

North was injured in the first half of the Aviva Premiership clash on December 3 but despite appearing to have been knocked unconscious, he passed a head injury assessment and was allowed to resume by Saints' medical staff.

The CMRG set up to investigate the incident concluded that while there was "sufficient evidence" to end North's involvement in the match, the club did not "intentionally ignore the player's best interests".

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Northampton withdraw George North from action

Northampton wing George North has suffered a series of concussions. Credit: PA

George North will not play for Northampton again until he has been assessed by an independent expert in head injuries.

The Welsh wing, who has suffered a series of concussions, was cleared by Saints medics to continue playing during Saturday's Aviva Premiership clash with Leicester despite replays suggesting he had been knocked out following a tackle from Adam Thompstone.

Questions have been raised about whether the player's welfare was best served by his return to action but Northampton insist they were fully in compliance with World Rugby's head injury assessment protocols.

The club does admit, however, that the footage available to them at the time was limited and have taken the precautionary steps of withdrawing North from action pending the specialist's verdict.

Northampton winger North out for a month

George North will be away from rugby for a month. Credit: PA

George North will be out until the end of April after having further tests on a head injury.

The Welshman has now suffered three concussion in recent months and will spend some time on the sidelines.

We have listened to the advice we sought and George will be taking some time away from the field.

Throughout this process it is important that George's welfare comes first and that he is treated patiently and calmly, only returning to action when all of the medical team are happy for him to do so.

– Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder

North to sit out Northampton European clash

George North is out. Credit: PA

Wales wing George North will not play for Northampton in Saturday's European Champions Cup quarter-final at Clermont Auvergne after his latest head injury.

North has been knocked unconscious three times in recent months, including in last Friday's 52-30 win over Wasps.

We won't play him at the weekend. Clearly he had a nasty knock.

He's making good progress. The day after he was up and about.

He's improving and down there at the moment going to see a neurologist and we'll wait to see what the experts say.

– Jim Mallinder

North feeling fine after being knocked out

George North was stretchered off. Credit: PA

Winger George North says he's feeling OK after being knocked out during Northampton Saints' win over Wasps.

The Welshman suffered a knee to the head by Nathan Hughes, who was sent off for dangerous play but protested his innocence.

North was stretchered off unconscious and in a neck brace, but tweeted to say he was fine.

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Lions captain gives 'credit to Australia'

George North is tackled during the match against Australia Credit: David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Lions captain Sam Warburton has praised Australia for a "thrilling" test match in Brisbane.

"That was entertaining, that's for sure," he said in a pitch side interview with Sky Sports. "The last 20 minutes were so hard and we really had to dig in. Credit to Australia."

George North who scored a try in the first half has praised the travelling fans for "their fantastic support".