North won’t be tempted by dual deal

Date published: December 17 2014

Although he is backing Wales’ new dual-contract system, Northampton wing George North is not planning to return to regional rugby any time soon.

North hailed the Welsh Rugby Union for finding a “Feasible option’ which will boost chances of keeping their top players in Wales.

The 22-year-old believes more internationals could follow Dan Lydiate’s lead by returning to a Welsh region but insisted his current situation at Northampton sutis him perfectly.

The English club allows North to fulfill his international commitments and he admits that he enjoys the agreement between club and country.

“I’m so happy to be at Northampton, they look after me personally, know the demands I’m under and we work together really well,” he told Walesonline.

“Myself, the club and the union have a very good understanding of where each other are, where we need to go and together it’s formed one of the best relationships I’ve ever worked in from a rugby point of view.

“For me the situation I’m in suits me down to the ground. I’m getting top-level rugby in Europe and the Premiership, then I’m also able to play for my country if I’m selected.”

Lydiate returned Wales to join the Ospreys on a dual contract last week after forcing an early release from his contract with Top 14 club Racing Metro.

The new set up opens the door for the likes of Racing centre Jamie Roberts to a Welsh region, although North and Leicester fly-half Owen Williams are not likely to leave their Aviva Premiership clubs.

“I think it’s going the right way definitely,” added North.

“At the moment it’s still in its early days of being organised.

“It’s still in its infancy, but the more people that want it and take it up, the quicker it will get up to speed and everything will settle down.

“I still think it’s not quite where it needs to be, but that’s because it’s all starting afresh and progressing.

“It’s a good step in the right direction towards giving the union and the regions the chance of being competitive, in terms of deals

“The feeling is people are relieved all around about the dual contracts.

“It’s good to know there’s finally actually a feasible option for the boys to come back if that’s what they need.

“There was such uncertainty but now there is that option to come home, you can get the support of the regions and the union and they are working together rather than against each other.

“So that will benefit the regions and the union as well.”