It has been announced today that Northampton Saints and Wales winger George North will leave the Aviva Premiership team at the end of the season to return back to Wales on a National Dual Contract.
At the age of just 25 this is a big statement for the Welsh Rugby Union to be able to make, with a player only just coming into his physical prime returning back to the nations rugby system.
“Saints have developed me as a player and stuck by me through thick and thin, so it is with a heavy heart that I have decided to move on,” he told the club website.
North has been out injured since October after picking up a knee injury and is due to return in December for the Saints.
“I love playing for Northampton Saints and am excited by the potential of the squad that is being assembled but, as a proud Welshman, I felt that now is the right time to move back home despite the compelling offer Saints made me.”
Wales have had some pretty major losses of players in their prime, with Rhys Webb moving to Toulon and Dan Biggar announcing a move to North’s current team Northampton.
For Northampton, a big name leaving is never good, and their strength has dwindled in the last few seasons. This free’s up a significant amount of salary for the club and you could argue that North’s form has maybe fallen short in the last 2 seasons, perhaps this move will turn out to be good for both parties.