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Dublin: 7 °C Friday 10 April, 2020

'It's a bit of a blessing that I won't take contact for another few weeks' -- George North

Welsh winger is now in line to face Ireland in the Rugby World Cup warm-up match.

North hasn't played since 27 March.
North hasn't played since 27 March.
Image: Andrew Matthews

Updated 20.20

GEORGE NORTH HAS returned to full training after missing the last two months of the Aviva Premiership season with concussion.

North suffered four head injuries in the space of five months, the last of which occurred when he lined out for Northampton in the 52-30 win against Wasps when he was knocked out as he scored his second try of the game.

The Wales winger was then sent on an extended period of rest, the same procedure that Johnny Sexton faced following his spate of concussions last year.

North told the BBC: “I’m allowed to start training fully. But there’s no rugby to be played so it’s a bit of a blessing that I won’t take contact for another few weeks now, which is even better for my recovery.”

“It is frustrating, but it’s not been a bad frustration because you know you have only got one head.”

Welsh coach Warren Gatland, who was in charge as North was knocked out twice during a Six Nations game against England, revealed in March that he fears for the player’s future career as the constant head injuries may force him out of the game.

Source: Rugby Riot/YouTube

“He’s been out for a considerable amount of time but it’s one of those situations where he’s such a young player if he picks up two or three more of those in the next year, that’s going to finish his career, isn’t it?”

The former Ireland coach also stated he had no idea that North had suffered from concussion against England and that he would have taken him off had he known.

“If we had seen that we would definitely have taken him off,” Gatland said.

There was definitely no negligence on our part. I am very conscious of player welfare and putting players first.

North should be available for selection when the Welsh welcome Ireland to the Millennium Stadium on 8 August in their first warm-up match ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

Originally published 10.10

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