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George North a 'wasted commodity' at Northampton, says former manager

Northampton Saints outside centre George North

George North’s stint at Northampton Saints has been described as “like having a Ferrari in your garage but you can’t find the key” by former team manager Lennie Newman.


North is to leave Northampton at the end of the season and return to Wales, having signed a National Dual Contract from the 2018-19 campaign.

Though the wing has scored 26 tries in 54 Premiership appearances, his time with the Saints has been hampered by injuries and concussions.

And Newman, whose 21-year association with Northampton ended in 2009, told BBC Radio Northampton: “It’s been a bit like having a Ferrari in your garage but you can’t find the key for it.

“That’s not sometimes through his fault. But there are times when he’s been a wasted commodity and he is a marquee player – one of the best players at the club.

“Personally, I don’t think it’s the end of the world [North leaving].

“You like to keep hold of your best players but to me it’s just very much the king is dead, long live the king.

“We’re not party to this but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he’s gone for less money, less games and looking after his own interests a little bit more.”


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William 1 hours ago
All Blacks vs England takeaways: Richie Who? Time for Cortez

Correct analysis of Perofeta’s bungling of the try opportunity Ben. Never ‘fixed’ Steward as he came across in defence and passed too early. Steward didn’t have to break his stride and simply moved on to pressure Telea. Never scanned the easier option of passing to the two supporting players on the inside. Beauden Barrett showed how it is done when he put Telea in for his try. Another point from the game is that the rush defence is hard to maintain as the number of phases increases. From scrums the defensive line only contains backs who all have roughly the same pace. Once forwards are involved, the defence has players with variable speeds often leading to a jagged line. It also tends to lose pace overall giving the attack more time and space. Beauden Barrett’s break to set up Telea’s try came because Baxter went in to tackle McKenzie and Steward went out to cover Telea. Barrett has a massive hole to run through, then commits Steward by passing as late as possible and Telea scores untouched. Another comment I would make is that Ben Earl is a good player and generally an excellent defender but he made three significant misses in the series, two of which led to All Black tries. Got stepped by Perofeta in Dunedin for Savea’s try, missed McKenzie in Auckland leading to what should have been a certain try being set up by Perofeta and was one of the tacklers who couldn’t stop Savea in the leadup to Telea’s first try. Perhaps he should contact Owen Farrell to pick up a few tips from ‘tackle school’.

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