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BREAKING: North to leave Saints to return to Wales

Wales wing George North

Wales wing George North will leave Northampton Saints at the end of the season and return to his homeland after signing a National Dual Contract for the 2018/19 campaign.

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The Welsh Rugby Union website announced the capture, saying the “world class winger will make a welcome return to Wales at the conclusion of this season when his playing commitments with Northampton Saints have been completed.”

The 25-year-old’s return to Wales, where he previously excelled with the Scarlets between 2010-2013, has delighted national team head coach, Warren Gatland.

“It is fantastic that George is returning to Wales on a National Dual Contract,” he said. “At just 25, George is in the prime of his career and signing an NDC, with all the playing and non-playing benefits associated with it, will allow him to flourish.

“It is great for the game here in Wales to see a player of George’s stature and reputation return home to play his domestic rugby.

“We will work with George to determine the best fit for him and will look to announce where he will play in the New Year.”

Martyn Phillips, chief executive of the Welsh Rugby Union said ‘This is a major signing for Welsh Rugby. Our recently announced Senior Player Selection Policy is designed to attract and retain Welsh players. We have also determined that the NDCs should be used strategically with a focus on players with more than 60 caps. George meets those criteria perfectly and we look forward to welcoming him back to Wales’.

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Shaylen 7 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

These guys will be utility players Nick it cannot be helped because coaches cannot help themselves. Rassie looks at players like these and sees the ability to cover multiple positions without losing much. It allows the 6-2 or 7-1. He wont change his coaching style or strategy for one player. At provincial level players like these are indispensable. If there is an injury to your starting 12 but your back up 12 is a bit iffy then a coach is going to go with the back up 10 who is gold and who can play a good 12. Damian Willemse for the Springboks is an obvious case, for the Stormers its the same. Dobson plays him at 12 or 15, with Gelant in the team he plays 12 but if Gelant goes down he doesnt go for his back up 15, he just puts Willemse there. With Frawley its the same at international and provincial level. He just slots in wherever. Frans Steyn made a career out of it. He was much maligned though as a youngster as he never fully developed into any role. He then went to Japan and France to decide for himself what kind of player he was, put on muscle and retained his big boot, ran over players and booted the ball long and came back into the Springboks after about 3 years away and was then certain about how he wanted to play the game no matter what position. Coaches cannot help themselves because they only want what is best for their teams and that means putting your most talented players on even if it means you cause them some discomfort. Sometimes players need to decide how they want to play the game and then adapt that to every position and let the coach decide how they want to use them.

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