George North admits he could understand why Samu Manoa would opt for a switch to France - but is desperate for the American star to stay at Saints.
Reports in France have suggested Manoa has been offered the chance to join last season’s Heineken Cup winners, Toulon.
The Top 14 giants are said to be seeking new blood to help freshen up an ageing back row, and Saints’ reigning supporters’ player of the year fits the bill.
North knows the lure of a move across the Channel would be tough for Manoa to resist, but is keen to see the 29-year-old remain at Franklin’s Gardens.
“It’s exactly the same job, just a different country,” said the Wales star.
“If you turned it into any walk of life, if you got offered the chance to do the same job in France with a lot more money, you probably wouldn’t be here right now, you’d be in France.
“If you offered a labourer twice as much as he’s on now to go elsewhere he’d probably take it wouldn’t he?
“Rugby fans hate people for going, but then when they step back and think about it they can’t really knock it.
“It’s a very short career and you’re only one blow away from never playing again and you’ve got to earn as much money as you can.
“Obviously, it would be a great loss for us here, he’s an exceptional player and hopefully he’ll stay with us.”
North joined Saints from Scarlets last year, resisting the chance to make a move to France in the process. He says the time was not right for him and is loving every minute of his stay in Northampton, revealing he would like to continue it for as long as possible.
“For me, right now in my life it (a move to France ) was never really an option,” said North. “I’m still a young pup really, I’ve just turned 22 and I don’t consider myself much of a French speaker.
“It was never an option but each individual has different times to move. If it’s not for them, if it is for them - they make a decision from there.”
And he added: “From minute one I’ve loved my time here, and I’m still enjoying it day to day. I’m here on a contract and I’m happy with that.
“The atmosphere and the ethos we’ve got in the club is something I’ve never experienced before and something I’m happy to be part of, and I’ll always be part of.”