West expects North to be ready for Bath battle

George North
George North

Dorian West is hopeful George North will be available for Saints’ trip to Bath on Friday.

And the forwards coach has also delivered good news on the fitness of Alex Corbisiero, Christian Day and Ken Pisi.

North was withdrawn after just 21 minutes of Saints’ Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final victory against Harlequins at Franklin’s Gardens last Friday.

Jim Mallinder later revealed the Wales wing had a calf injury, but West is hopeful it won’t rule the player out of this week’s Premiership clash at the Recreation Ground.

“George is one of those athletes where he runs fast and he needs to be at the top of his fitness,” said West. “When you’re running at that speed, with that power you get the odd twinge and it can soon turn into something nasty.

“You just have to be cautious with things like that and lads like George to make sure we look after him. He’s had some good treatment this week and we’ll see where he’s at over the next few days.”

And when asked when last week’s decision to bring North off was merely a precaution, West said: “I wouldn’t say it was precautionary. He’d got a bit of a problem with his calf.

“He’s an athlete, there’s certainly no one in the forwards like him. He knows what he needs to do and he’ll be working as hard as he can be to be fit for the weekend.”

England prop Corbisiero has not played for Saints since October, but is on track for a return while Day (calf) and Ken Pisi (shoulder) are also back in contention.

“It might be a week too soon for Corbs, but he’s there or thereabouts,” said West. “He’s upped his training and we’ll see where he’s at in the next few days.

“Christian Day is back in the mix. His calf injury has sorted itself out, he’s been training and we’ll see where he’s at.

“Ken’s been training. He’s put his hand up for selection. He’s trained well and we’ll see where he’s at as well.”