- George North is likely to move to France with Warren Gatland’s permission
- Despite the impressive World Cup, North did not receive a contract offer in Wales
- North, 31, in talks with French second division club Provence, reports a deal
George North looks set for a move to France with Warren Gatland’s blessing after failing to receive an offer to stay in Wales despite his impressive World Cup performance.
North is in talks to join French second division club Provence. Reports in Europe suggest a deal has been struck. Although that is not yet the case, all signs point to North moving abroad. Sources indicate that talks between the two sides are at an advanced stage.
The 31-year-old midfielder’s contract with his current team Ospreys expires at the end of this season. But the perilous state of Welsh rugby’s finances means neither the Swansea-based region nor any of their three domestic rivals have been able to offer North a contract.
It has left the 118 cap with no other alternative than to look abroad. Provence, who rank highly in the French second tier and are hoping for promotion to the TOP14 next term, are likely to benefit from this.
George North looks set for a move to France with Warren Gatland’s blessing after failing to receive an offer to stay in Wales despite his impressive World Cup
North are eyeing a move to Provence amid reports a deal is imminent
North had an impressive World Cup, but received no contract offers to stay
North’s Wales teammate Tomas Francis is already at the club. MailSport understands North’s annual wages at Provence will be higher than the £300,000 quoted in France if the deal is completed.
We have also learned that North’s likely upcoming move has been given the green light by Wales head coach Gatland and that the player wants to continue playing Test rugby.
North had an exceptional World Cup with Wales, despite Gatland’s side exiting at the quarter-final stage. He formed a promising midfield combination with Saracens’ Nick Tompkins.
North, who made his Wales debut at the age of 18, is still only 31 and therefore has more rugby left in him. Few would begrudge a player who has given so much to Welsh rugby a lucrative move abroad.
“I was really happy with my form at the World Cup and I’m still fighting for the jersey,” North said of his future in Wales after the World Cup. ‘It’s still a big motivation for me. I want to continue. I still want to play and fight for my place.’
Wales outside center George North runs to avoid Fiji’s inside center Semi Radradra during the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France
Osprey head coach Toby Booth has admitted he is unable to keep North in Wales. “With good players, we understand people will be interested,” Booth said.
“The Welsh market will be interesting for big-spending teams because they know we can’t afford to keep big players on big salaries.
‘We have a budget of £5.2 million this season and that will go down to £4.5 million next season, so every region is still staring down the barrel of a gun. “I don’t think it will be the last either.”