George North: Northampton winger 'does not want special treatment'

George North
TV replays appeared to show George North lying motionless, but he returned to play after passing a pitch-side assessment

Winger George North will not want to be treated with extra care despite his latest head injury, says Northampton Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder.

North, 24, landed on his head after a high tackle from Adam Thompstone in his side's 19-11 defeat against Leicester Tigers on Saturday, 3 December.

"I read some reports he must finish and stop playing. He doesn't want to be treated like that," Mallinder said.

"All George wants to do is get back and play rugby."

The Wales international previously had a five-month spell out of the game after suffering a series of blows to the head during matches, including a serious concussion when scoring a try against Wasps in March 2015.

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The former Scarlets winger will sit out Northampton's game against Sale Sharks on Boxing Day because of the incident, despite saying he was not knocked out.

"He said he can remember going up in the air, he remembers landing on the floor, he remembers his head striking the floor and he said he wasn't unconscious," Mallinder told BBC Look East.

"That's not saying that he was not knocked unconscious briefly. If he thought he had been concussed, then George is sensible enough to put his hand up and say 'I'm concussed and I need some time out of the game'.

"He went to see the specialist on Tuesday, who backed up that he hasn't got any symptoms. But because he may have been knocked unconscious, we must treat it as a concussive episode and therefore we will not play him for a couple of weeks."

A concussion review group was formed to investigate how North's case was handled and whether the club have a case to answer, but Mallinder is not worried.

"I want it [the report] to be favourable towards the medics and the rugby club, because I know that they haven't intentionally done anything wrong," he continued.

"I hope it's honest and accurate."

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