Alan Gaffney says he is 'disappointed' George North was not involved for Saints on Saturday - and hinted it was the player's decision not to line up against Sale Sharks.
In the build-up to the match at Franklin's Gardens it was said that North was available but not selected.
The wing, who will be leaving Saints to return to Wales this summer, has recently been with his country, playing in their Six Nations matches against England and Ireland as a replacement.
But with a weekend off from international duty - Wales do not play again until next Sunday - North could have represented Saints.
And when asked after the 34-25 defeat to Sale why North was not involved, technical coaching consultant Gaffney said: "It's a pretty good question and it's a very difficult one to answer at this moment in time.
"You'd probably have to ask George.
"We picked the side that actually wanted to be out on the pitch and the best side for Northampton.
"I haven't spoken to George personally about it, but I'm just disappointed he wasn't here."