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Gatland delighted by North's return

By Alex Fisher
Wales international George North

Warren Gatland has hailed the impending return of Wales international George North after the winger signed a National Dual Contract (NDC) for next season.

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North left Scarlets in 2013 to join Northampton Saints in the Premiership and has been a huge success, scoring 35 tries in 80 appearances.

His form with Wales has also seen him be part of two British and Irish Lions tours – including this year’s 1-1 draw with New Zealand.

From the 2018-19 season North will return to the Pro14, although with which region remains unclear, and Gatland is delighted to have the 25-year-old back.

“It is fantastic that George is returning to Wales on a National Dual Contract,” said the coach.

 

“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.”

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North is currently sidelined with a knee injury and is not expected to return until late December.

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Turlough 5 hours ago
Jean de Villiers' three word response to 'best in the world' debate

This ‘raging’ debate is only happenning in media circles and has never been a topic in Ireland (although SA media are interested). It makes the media companies money I guess. SA are RWC champions and #1 ranked team although Ireland are back within a point there. The facts point to SA. For a lot of 2021 France beat ALL their rivals and Ireland similar in 2022-2023. It is not wrong to say that on such form either can be deemed to be the current best team if they have beaten all their rivals and ranked #1. The ‘have to have won a world cup’ stipulation is nonsense. The world cup draw and scheduling has been tailored to the traditional big teams since the start. The scheduling also which sees the big teams sheltered from playing a hard pool match the week before has also been a constant. It is extraordinary that for example France have made so many finals. Ireland who were realistically only contenders in 2023 were in a Pool with two other top 5 teams and had to play one of them 7 days before a quarter final against France or New Zealand. Always going to be a coin toss. Scotland’s situation was worse. New Zealand had great chances in 1995, 1999, 2007 but they could not win a tight RWC match. The first tight match they ever won was versus France in the 2011 final, literally they lost every other tight match before that. Some of those NZ teams around that era were #1 surely?

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