Saints to avoid further North fines
December 29, 2013
George North was brilliant against Bath © Getty Images
Northampton Saints will not receive another fine if they decide to release George North for a Test match outside of the official international window.
The Saints were slammed with a £60,000 fine after they allowed North to play for Wales against Australia on November 30. The match fell outside the International Rugby Board window and according to Premiership Rugby's regulations, only England players are allowed to be released for such matches.
But Saints boss Jim Mallinder has confirmed the fine will cover North for the rest of his three-year deal at Franklin's Gardens. Mallinder was speaking in the aftermath of the Saints' impressive 43-25 win over Bath on Saturday, a match where North starred.
"George was outstanding," Mallinder said. "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.
"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. 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."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Reports comparing the 2014 Wallabies with their rabble-like predecessors of 2005 are unfair and self-serving, Greg Growden reports
Wales did the All Blacks a favour with their best effort against New Zealand for many years, for 68 minutes at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Craig Dowd writes
In the wake of another perfect November series, Monday Maul talks to NZRU CEO Steve Tew about the constant demand for perfection
The latest Week in Pictures takes in all the action from the weekend when rugby united behind Samoa