George North has informed fans that he is "feeling ok" after the Northampton Saints and Wales wing was knocked out during the 52-30 victory over Wasps on Friday night.
The 22-year-old was stretchered off the Franklin’s Gardens pitch after scoring his second try of the game on the left corner. Having touched the ball down to get Saints back in the game having been 20-13 down, the knee of Wasps No 8 Nathan Jones can be seen to strike North in the head, knocking him immediately unconscious and earning himself a red card.
The sight was made all the more worse given North’s recent problems with concussion, with the giant Wales wing knocked out twice during the Six Nations defeat to England at the start of February, in which North remained on the pitch to see out the 80 minutes having undergone a single Head Injury Assessment.
Posting on his official Twitter account, North said: "Thanks for all the messages. Feeling ok, up and about."
Thanks for all the messages. Feeling ok, up and about.; George North (@George_North) March 28, 2015
Watch the video of the incident below…
Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder said after the game that Jones’ actions had been “reckless” and had caused “serious consequences”, and also stressed that North would not be rushed back despite the European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-final with Clermont Auvergne coming next weekend.
“I think the opposition have to be very careful once the try has been scored,” said Mallinder
"It was reckless coming in with the knee and some serious consequences happened because of that.
“We will look after him and we will make sure that he comes back when he is right. Hopefully he’ll be OK next weekend [to face Clermont].”
After North suffered the head injury against England, he missed the Six Nations clash with Scotland the following weekend, and the likelihood is that he will struggle to complete the return to play protocol that Mike Brown also failed to complete when he was knocked out during England’s victory over Italy in the same tournament.
Dai Young, Wasps director of rugby, defended his No 8 and claimed that Hughes had not deliberately tried to hurt North and believes that referee Craig Maxwell-Keys bowed to pressure form the home supporters to dismiss the 23-year-old.
“First and foremost, I hope that George is all right. Nathan has gone looking for him to make sure he is OK,” said Young.
“He’s not that type of person. Obviously, when you slow anything down in slow-mo, things look a little bit worse than they were.
"But once the crowd gets on a referee’s back, and it was a young referee, there is only one decision that is going to happen. We felt it was a bit harsh.”