North's Saints move confirmed
Tue, 09 Apr 2013 16:19
We believe that he will play a big role
Northampton Saints on Tuesday confirmed the signing of Wales wing George North on a three-year deal.
At 20 years of age, North may still be in the relative early stages of his rugby career but he is already considered one of the best wings in the European game.
With 31 caps to his name, he has two Six Nations titles under his belt and is regarded by commentators as being a certainty for the British and Irish Lions tour to Australia in June.
North makes the move to the East Midlands from the Scarlets, where he has averaged a try nearly every other game since making his debut in 2010. But it is at international level where he has really caught the eye.
It took just six minutes for North to register his first international try, against South Africa in November 2010, and when he crossed the whitewash later in the game he became the youngest player to score twice against a major rugby nation on his debut.
The Kings Lynn-born wing is also the youngest ever try-scorer at a Rugby World Cup, the youngest player to have scored 10 international tries, and the first player to have won 20 caps for Wales while still in his teens.
Director of rugby Jim Mallinder is delighted that North will be a part of the Saints squad next season for the Premiership and European campaigns.
“George is an outstanding talent and we’re looking forward to him being a part of our squad for at least the next three years,” he commented.
“Despite still being at the start of his career he has shown repeatedly that he has the ability and temperament to succeed at the highest level of the game, and we believe that he will play a big role as we look to take the next steps in our development.
“We’re delighted that George has decided to come to Franklin’s Gardens.”
Saints chief executive Allan Robson says that the deal to bring North to Franklin’s Gardens reflects the club’s ambition to succeed at the highest level.
“We have worked very hard over recent years to put Saints into a strong and sustainable financial position where we can build a squad that includes world-class players and has credible prospects for silverware,” he said.
“We’re determined to bring success to Franklin’s Gardens and signing players like George, Kahn Fotuali’i and Alex Corbisiero – all of whom are regarded as being among the best in their positions anywhere in the game – is a very important part of that.
“Over recent weeks there have been plenty of negotiations between ourselves, the Scarlets management and George’s representatives and we believe that we have come to an agreement which is in the best interests of both clubs and the player himself.
“We are delighted to have reached an agreement with the Scarlets for George to join us and we thank the Scarlets for their co-operation and responsibility in this matter since we made an approach via George’s representative to discuss bringing him to Franklin’s Gardens.
“From the Saints perspective we are delighted to have secured George’s signature and are excited by the prospect of him lining up in a backline with the likes of Ben Foden and George Pisi.”
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