Wales coach Gatland ‘hugely worried’ about Saints star North

George North was knocked unconscious in the win against Wasps (picture: Dave Ikin)
George North was knocked unconscious in the win against Wasps (picture: Dave Ikin)

Warren Gatland says he would like to see Saints star George North take the rest of the season off.

The Wales coach is ‘hugely worried’ by North’s recent concussion - his third in four months - sustained in the win against Wasps at the end of March.

And he has expressed fears about the 23-year-old’s future, fearing more damage could be done if he plays again before the end of the current campaign.

Saints attack coach Alex King says North is ‘making good progress’, but no date has been put on the player’s return.

And Gatland told the Sunday Times: “I am hugely worried. I had a meeting with George’s agent and said 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.

“If he gets another knock he’s going to have to be out for six months or a year.

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

“That is a concern but I can understand Northampton being desperate to get him back playing, particularly as they get to the end of the season.”