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Saints confirm North interest
29 March 2013 08:00am
By Westgate, Mike Brown
North could be heading to the Saints
Northampton Saints have confirmed they are pursuing Wales star George North.
North prefers to stay in Wales but the Scarlets are reportedly conscious of cashing in on his rising stock, while offloading one of their biggest earners.
"It's a big decision for George and we don't want to put undue pressure on him," said Northampton Saints chairman Leon Barwell.
"He's got to make sure that when he makes the decision it's the right one for him as an individual on the basis he really wants to come to Northampton.
"We are giving him some time and space to do that."
North, who was born in Kings Lynn, is one of the hottest properties in the game and is widely expected to tour Australia with the Lions this summer.
He made his Test debut as an 18-year-old against South Africa in 2010, scoring two tries, and has been a vital weapon in Wales' back-to-back Six Nations titles.
He is just the latest Wales international to be targeted by teams across the boarder.
2009 Lions Mike Phillips, James Hook and Lee Byrne all currently ply their trade in France, while Jamie Roberts and Dan Lydiate will make the switch in the summer.
And Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby, a Lion in 2005, has called on the Welsh Rugby Union to do more to keep their best players at home.
"Something needs to be resolved as soon as possible," said Easterby.
"It's not fair on the players and makes it difficult for the regions to keep Welsh qualified players in the country.
"It's frustrating that we develop players and spend time and money investing in them. It's hard to take when it becomes a financial decision and not a rugby one - we would like more parity."
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