January 30, 2018 / 7:05 PM / 8 months ago

North returns to club in bid to prove fitness for Wales

(Reuters) - Wales winger George North will be released back to his English Premiership club Northampton to play this weekend in a bid to prove his fitness before next month’s Six Nations clash against England at Twickenham, coach Warren Gatland said on Tuesday. North was supposed to undergo a fitness assessment on Monday, before Wales announced their team to play Scotland in their Six Nations opener on Saturday. Yet he did not train because he was recovering from a tight hamstring that forced him to pull out of Northampton’s win at Sale Sharks last weekend.

Britain Rugby Union - Wales v Ireland - Six Nations Championship - Principality Stadium, Cardiff - 10/3/17 Wales' George North celebrates scoring their second try Reuters / Rebecca Naden Livepic E

He was subsequently left out of the Welsh team for Saturday’s encounter in Cardiff. “He hasn’t had a lot of rugby, he definitely needs some rugby, so it was a little bit disappointing that he didn’t get some time on the field. But his hamstrings were a little bit tight after a quality week of training,” Gatland told a news conference. North has made just two replacement appearances since October because of a knee injury. “He didn’t train with us on Monday because he was still recovering. He’s going to be released back to Northampton to get a game this weekend to hopefully put him in contention for a place against England,” added Gatland. Northampton play Harlequins on Friday in the Anglo-Welsh Cup. Wales play England in their second Six Nations match on Feb. 10.

Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Toby Davis

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