Gatland worried over North’s future

Date published: May 10 2015

Wales boss Warren Gatland has revealed that he has serious concerns over first-choice wing George North's future in the game.

The Northampton flyer sustained his third concussion in four months when he was knocked out against Wasps at the end of March. And although the 23-year-old could return to action with the Saints before the end of the season, Gatland is not in favour of that happening.

“I am hugely worried,” Gatland told The Telegraph.

“I had a meeting with his agent during the week and I said ‘Look if I was being purely selfish I would say: ‘George don’t play in the last few games, get yourself right for the World Cup’, because if he gets another knock he is going to have to be out for six months or a year or something like that.

"So that is a concern. If he is feeling confident about getting back and wanting to get on the park and play some rugby, then that’s a decision he is going to make.

"He’s been out for a considerable amount of time but it’s one of those situations where he’s such a young player if he picks up two or three more of those in the next year, that’s going to finish his career, isn’t it?”

Gatland was unhappy when he and his backroom staff were criticised after North stayed on the field when he suffered a concussion against England in the Six Nations earlier this year.

“I was very upset with the criticism,” he added.

“If we had seen that we would definitely have taken him off. There was definitely no negligence on our part. I am very conscious of player welfare and putting players first.”