Saints pay the price for North

Thu, 19 Dec 2013 07:28
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George North's appearance for Wales against Australia outside the IRB's international window has cost Northampton a £60,000 fine.

George North's appearance for Wales against Australia outside the IRB's international window has cost Northampton a £60,000 fine.

The Saints allowed North to feature in Wales' 30-26 defeat at the hands of Australia on November 30, which came after the end of the IRB Test period.

Premiership clubs have an agreement that only England players can be released for matches or training camps outside the IRB window.

But North ensured he would be available for all Wales fixtures when he negotiated his move from the Scarlets to Franklin's Gardens in the summer.

Saints appeared before a three-man panel of club chief executives on Wednesday, and were handed the fine after admitting a breach of Premiership policy.

"The Designated Panel, comprising three Board members appointed under the terms of the Code, decided that Northampton Saints will be fined £60,000," a Premiership statement read.

"Northampton Saints have decided not to appeal against the sanction."

The punishment is more severe than had been expected and could be seen as a deterrent to clubs taking similar action in the future.

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