George North: Northampton Saints wing set to play against Sale Sharks

George North
George North featured for Wales in their recent autumn international series

George North is set to return for Northampton on Friday, two days after the report into Saints' handling of his latest head injury will be published.

A concussion panel was set up after the winger, 24, played on after landing on his head in the loss to Leicester.

He was stood down after that game, but director of rugby Jim Mallinder said North has returned to training.

The final report will be delivered by the panel on Tuesday, prior to its full publication on Wednesday.

The three-man Concussion Management Review Group has investigated the circumstances and will decide if the Premiership club has any case to answer.

The panel comprises of the Rugby Football Union's director of professional rugby Nigel Melville, Phil Winstanley of Premiership Rugby, and independent chairman Dr Julian Morris.

Television replays appeared to show the Wales and British and Irish Lions winger lying motionless after a tackle by Leicester's Adam Thompstone in the game on 3 December, but he returned to play after passing a pitch-side assessment.

North previously had a six-month spell out of the game after suffering a series of blows to the head during matches, including a serious concussion when scoring a try against Wasps in March 2015.

Director of rugby Jim Mallinder said: "He's had a bit of time off and he's feeling really good about himself, he's looking really sharp out there and he's looking forward to playing.

"George is actually going back to the specialists, just to check again that everything's OK.

"I'm not making decisions on whether he plays or not, that's out of my hands. That's down to the trained professionals to make the right judgements, and surely there's no better people to make those correct decisions."

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