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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 16 January, 2019

George North to leave Northampton and return home to Wales

It’s not yet known which region he will join, but the move represents a big boost for Wales and the Pro14.

North toured with the Lions during the summer.
North toured with the Lions during the summer.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

GEORGE NORTH WILL leave English Premiership side Northampton at the end of the season and return to Wales on a national dual contract, the Welsh Rugby Union announced on Wednesday.

The winger, who has won 69 Wales caps and scored 30 tries, has agreed a deal from next term.

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.

“As a proud Welshman, I’m excited to be heading back to Wales,” said North.

“I feel the time is right and the opportunity to sign a NDC (national dual contract), with the benefits that come with it and the support it provides from the national squad set-up, was a great option for me.”

Wales coach Warren Gatland said it was “fantastic” that North — a player in his prime — was returning to Wales.

North joined the Saints from Scarlets in 2013 and has made 80 appearances for the Premiership club and toured Australia and New Zealand with the Lions in 2013 and 2017.

“This has been an incredibly hard decision,” he said.

© – AFP, 2017

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