Saturday 17 March 2018

Gatland rests North for 'good of player and the game'

George North
George North

Matt Majendie

George North will be rested for Sunday's trip to Murrayfield for the good of the game and the good of the player, according to the Wales head coach Warren Gatland.

North is the sole change from the side that lost the opening Six Nations match 21-16 to England on Friday night, with Liam Williams replacing him in the starting line-up and Scarlets team-mate Scott Williams named on the bench.

North has cleared every concussion protocol and was expected to sail through his final pre-match test tomorrow but, before even encountering that, Wales have taken the decision to rest him after two blows to the head during the game with England.

Gatland admitted he would probably have selected North to face Scotland had he not suffered a previous concussion against New Zealand during the autumn internationals.

"But it's all speculation," said Gatland. "I can imagine that if we had not made this decision and George goes out on Sunday and gets another knock, how is that going to look for George and how's it going to look for rugby as a whole?

"Give us a little bit of credit as, if we didn't do this and he got another knock, it would be a bad image for the game and the amount of criticism and abuse we would have received from all sorts of people. I don't think it's worth making that decision at the moment."

Irish Independent

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