North set to be available for Saints’ clash with Sale

George North could face Sale on Friday night (picture: Sharon Lucey)
George North could face Sale on Friday night (picture: Sharon Lucey)
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George North is set to be available for Saints’ game against Sale Sharks on Friday night.

The Wales wing has been training and as long as he is given the all clear in a meeting with a specialist on Tuesday, he will be able to face the Sharks at Franklin’s Gardens.

Saints are still waiting to hear whether they will be punished for their handling of North’s injury, which was sustained in a defeat at Leicester Tigers earlier this month.

The 24-year-old collided with Tigers wing Adam Thompstone in the 16th minute of the match at Welford Road, landing awkwardy.

Replays appeared to show North lying unconscious on the turf, but after going off for an eight-minute assessment, he returned to play the rest of the game.

Saints have since admitted they got it wrong, with their medics having not seen the same footage as television viewers, and North, who believed he had suffered a neck injury, should not have been allowed back onto the field.

Premiership Rugby and RFU officials visited the Gardens earlier this month to assess whether Saints should face action for their handling of the situation.

And the full report will be published on Wednesday afternoon, two days before Saints host Sale in a key Aviva Premiership game.

But North, who was stood down by Saints for the two recent defeats to Leinster, could be back to boost his club in that encounter.

“He’s been training,” Mallinder said. “We did give him a bit of time off, but he has been training since last week.

“George went to see the specialist after it happened and it was suggested he had a little bit of time off.

“He’s going back this afternoon to see the specialist just to check everything’s okay.”

And when asked whether he believes North will be available this Friday, Mallinder said: “Yes.”