George North stood down by Northampton until medical assessment completed

Leinster travel to Northampton on Friday

George North stood down by Northampton until medical assessment completed

Wales' George North scores their fifth try ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Northampton winger George North will be unavailable for selection for his club for the foreseeable future until he goes under an assessment from an independent medical professional.

The Wales international appeared to be knocked unconscious at the weekend before being taken from the field for a Head Injury Assessment (HIA) before returning to play, to the dismay of many fans and pundits alike.

His club have come under fire in recent days after the incident and have responded by allowing an independent expert to monitor their player.

Wales' George North steps through a tackle
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Photosport/John Cowpland

Northampton released the following statement on the issue: 

"As at every Aviva Premiership match, the Saints’ medical team has access to video footage to be used to assist the pitchside assessment of injuries. It is important to note this video footage is not always the full range of replay angles available to the TV viewing audience at home.

"The medical team can only base their decisions on the evidence available to them at the time of assessment. World Rugby protocol dictated, given the evidence available to the medical team, the use of a Head Injury Assessment.

"George was fully assessed by the doctor away from the pitch using the established protocols and processes, and passed fit to return to play. As with all such injuries, if evidence suggesting a loss of consciousness had been available to the medical team at the time of assessment, George would not have been allowed to return to the field of play.

"All rugby supporters will no doubt be delighted to learn that George remains well. Nevertheless, Northampton Saints continues to place player welfare as its number one priority, and is referring George to an independent expert as part of the club’s ongoing assessment process and George will be stood down from play until this process is complete.

"There is a concussion management and monitoring protocol in place for all Aviva Premiership matches which provides for independent review and the opportunity for more detailed investigation. This is an ongoing process with several stages, and the club looks forward to contributing to this.

"Additionally Northampton Saints is seeking to work with all parties to improve the availability of all footage that may assist team medics with injury management."

Northampton entertain Leinster this Friday at Franklin's Gardens in the European Champions Cup. All four teams in the pool have won one and lost one of their opening two matches.