North will play no part for Saints at Clermont, says Mallinder

Saints boss Jim Mallinder has confirmed that George North will play no part in Saints’ Champions Cup quarter-final at Clermont Auvergne on Saturday.

George North was knocked unconscious during Friday's win against Wasps (picture: Dave Ikin)
George North was knocked unconscious during Friday's win against Wasps (picture: Dave Ikin)

North was knocked unconscious by the knee of Wasps No.8 Nathan Hughes after scoring his second try of the night in last Friday’s 52-30 success at Franklin’s Gardens.

Hughes has subsequently been banned for three weeks for his part in the incident, while North will see a specialist this afternoon to determine the extent of his concussion.

And the Wales star, who was also knocked unconscious during a game against New Zealand in the autumn and against England in February, will definitely not travel to France.

“We won’t play him at the weekend,” confirmed Saints boss Mallinder. “Clearly he had a nasty knock.

“He’s making good progress. The day after he was up and about.

“He’s improving and down there at the moment going to see a neurologist and we’ll wait to see what the experts say.

“We’ve got to look after him. We’ve got to make sure the medical experts are happy and satisfied that he is fit to return to play and as soon as they say he is, then we’ll be happy to pick him again.”

Former World Rugby medical adviser Dr Barry O’Driscoll is one of a number of voices calling for North - the top try-scorer in the competition with seven this season - not to play again this season.

And Mallinder added: “There’s been lots of opinion. We’ve got to be careful that we don’t blow anything out of proportion.

“It’s a tough game, (but) player welfare will always come first.”