Six Nations: George North 'not happy' to be omitted - Gatland

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Wales coach Warren Gatland explains his selection for their Six Nations clash against Scotland on Sunday.
RBS Six Nations: Scotland v Wales
Venue: Murrayfield, Edinburgh Date: Sunday, 15 February Kick-off: 15:00 GMTCoverage: Live on BBC TV, HD, Red Button, Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru, the BBC Sport website, BBC iPlayer, S4C online, mobile, the BBC Sport app and Connected TV; text commentary on the BBC Sport website.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland says wing George North is "not happy" to miss Sunday's game against Scotland.

Liam Williams will start at Murrayfield as North has been given an "extended recovery light of his concussion in the autumn".

North had two blows to the head during Friday's loss to England, but Wales said he had no signs of concussion.

"He's not a happy man. He's disappointed that we've ruled him out," Gatland said.

Northampton wing North missed November's 12-6 win over South Africa after suffering concussion in the 34-16 defeat to New Zealand. Williams took his place in that match.

Gatland added: "I said, 'This is not a rugby decision, this is a welfare decision about you and your longevity in the game. You've taken a couple of knocks and the last thing you need - and the last thing the game needs - is for you to get another knock'.

"The precautionary thing is to make the positive decision about George and his welfare. I think it's a very mature decision."

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Rewind: Williams inspires Wales win against Scotland in 2014

Wales will not face sanctions after North remained on the field following a second knock to the head in the defeat by England.

World Rugby, the sport's governing body, says North should not have played on after TV replays appeared to show him being knocked unconscious in the 61st minute.

However, it accepts the Wales medical staff did not see the incident.

"One of the things we pride ourselves on is the welfare of the player and putting the player first," Gatland said.

"The decision [not to select North] was about him being a young man and needing to be looked after."

North's omission and Williams's inclusion is the only change Gatland has made to his starting XV.

Wales in the 2015 Six Nations
Friday, 6 February: Wales 16-21 England
Sunday, 15 February: v Scotland, Murrayfield
Saturday, 28 February: v France, Paris
Saturday, 14 March: v Ireland, Cardiff
Saturday, 21 March: v Italy, Rome

There had been a clamour for Williams to start against England and those calls grew louder as pundits such as former Wales flankers Gwyn Jones and Martyn Williams urged Gatland to pick the Scarlets player at the expense of Cardiff Blues' Alex Cuthbert.

But North's absence means the Wales head coach was not faced with that choice.

"Liam Williams has been playing very well and was unlucky not to be selected in the first game," Gatland added.

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"It was a debate we had last week. Hopefully Liam does take this opportunity."

Williams played a starring role in his last Six Nations appearance as Wales hammered Scotland 51-3 in Cardiff in March 2014.


Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Jonathan Davies (ASM Clermont Auvergne), Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro), Liam Williams (Scarlets), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Richard Hibbard (Gloucester), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Ospreys), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues, CAPT), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Replacements: Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Paul James (Bath Rugby), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Luke Charteris (Racing Metro), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Mike Phillips (Racing Metro), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Scott Williams (Scarlets).

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