Wales headcoach Warren Gatland has revealed the details of an offer he made George North in light of the fallout after interim coach Alan Gaffney suggested the winger didn’t want to play against Sale last weekend.
North is making an injury comeback to international rugby and it has been widely speculated that he didn’t want to risk an injury playing for his club in the Six Nations window.
It has also been suggested that North had an arrangement with former coach Jim Mallinder to miss such off weekend during the tournament.
However Gatland has now offered an oliver branch, suggested he could leave Saints before the end of the season.
“The message I have said to George is if he wants to come home quicker than next season, we will look after him,” said the Wales coach.
“We are here for him. He knows if he isn’t comfortable in that environment, we will support him and the Union will support him 100 per cent for whatever happens with him. I think he is just focused on getting on the field and starting on Sunday and then looking back to get back to his club.
“I understand from Northampton’s perspective, they are under their own pressure in terms of trying to get things back on track.
“George has given a huge amount of commitment to them in the first place by leaving Wales to go up there.
“He has enjoyed his time there I know. It’s a great club with fantastic facilities.
“He has always talked hugely positively about his time up there and just how great the club and fans have been.”
Gatland was asked what he made of Gaffney’s out of North on the issue: “Coaches do their own thing. I don’t have any problem with that.”
“That was treated by our medical staff and we communicated that to Northampton (on the Sunday). He went back up to there and was treated by their medical team. So I understand when we sent him back, he had a slight injury. What happened after that I’m not too sure.
“He is ok now, which is why he’s been selected.”
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