Scarlets confirm Northampton Saints’ signing of Wales star George North

THUMBS UP - Wales star George North is on his way to Saints
THUMBS UP - Wales star George North is on his way to Saints

Saints have pulled off a major coup by completing the signing of Wales and Scarlets star George North.

After weeks of speculation, the Welsh club today confirmed the winger has put pen to paper on a three-year deal at Franklin’s Gardens.

A sizeable transfer fee, thought to be in the region of £200,000, has been paid to secure the services of the 20-year-old, who had one year remaining on his Scarlets deal.

North has scored 12 tries in 31 Test appearances for Wales and will add real firepower to Saints’ attacking armoury.

He will be the second player to move from Wales to Saints this summer, following Ospreys’ Samoan scrum-half Kahn Fotuali’i across the border.

Northampton’s interest in North was revealed by the Chronicle & Echo two days after he helped Wales beat England to win the Six Nations title last month.

Scarlets boss Simon Easterby later claimed it would be a ‘disaster’ for Welsh rugby should the player choose to move to England.

And the story continued to gather pace as North became embroiled in a row between his club and the Welsh Rugby Union.

The governing body claimed Scarlets had been eager to offload their prized asset, while the club accused the WRU of not doing enough to keep him in Wales.

But the saga is now over, with Saints having acquired one of European rugby’s most feared wide men.

North looks certain to tour Australia with the Lions this summer and is hotly-tipped to be in the starting 15 for the Test series.

He would then return to Northampton for the new Premiership season to link up with the likes of Fotuali’i, Ben Foden and George Pisi in a much revered backline.

And Saints’ attacking threat will be enhanced further by the tuition of backs coach Alex King, who will join from Clermont Auvergne this summer.