Planet Rugby

No more North fines for Saints

29th December 2013 09:47

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Outstanding: George North

Northampton boss Jim Mallinder revealed that the fine received for releasing George North to Wales will cover his whole contract.

North played for Wales in the loss to Australia at the start of December, despite the match falling outside the IRB international window.

Saints were consequently fined £60,000 by Premiership Rugby for breaking the league's policy.

Mallinder has revealed though that rather than Northampton being fined every time they release North to play in similar matches for Wales, the punishment received will instead cover his whole contract - which has two-and-a-half years remaining.

"That fine is a one-off, it is a fine and we've accepted that. We'll pay the fine, but we know where we are for the next two-and-a-half years of his contract," said Mallinder.

"People hopefully can stop talking about it and we know exactly where we are.

"As a club we've got our fine, and that's for the length of the contract.

North was one of six try scorers in an excellent performance by title-chasing Saints in their 43-25 win over Bath.

"George was outstanding," added Mallinder.

"After that first 10 to 15 minutes he got us going, he got us on the front foot with his carrying, he got us on the front foot with his high balls.

"And just to see his defensive work in the 80th minute to cut them out there, that was excellent too.

"It's taken him a little bit of time, but he showed why he's a world-class player.

"They've got a good back-three with Banahan who is a big lad, but I saw that they were swapping him over a little bit.

"But George North is massive, and he's athletic, so when you kick right and get George up there competing there's not many people who are going to win the ball from there."

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