George North: Scarlets in the market for Wales & Lions wing

George North
George North recently got engaged to his long-term partner, former Olympic cyclist Becky James

Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac says they have spoken to Wales wing George North about him joining them for 2018-19.

Pivac had previously said they were not in the market for a back-three signing.

North is leaving Northampton at the end of 2017-18 and has already pledged to return to Wales.

"I caught up with George last week and I had about 45 minutes with him," said Pivac.

Dragons have also spoken to North, but Cardiff Blues say they want to strengthen their pack while Ospreys have made no official comment on the player.

North left Scarlets for Northampton in 2013 and because he will return to Wales on a National Dual Contract, the Llanelli-based team have first refusal on his future.

"It was a good conversation," said Pivac.

"He's very keen to come back to Wales and get his game back on track, get over his injuries and look forward to playing rugby. That was a good discussion.

"We are his region of origin.

"He was always going to speak to us and up until that point there had been no contact from his agent.

"After I had talked to you guys (the press), it went out pretty much straight away and his agent rang me within 24 hours."

Wayne Pivac celebrates Scarlets win at Bath with Scott Williams
Wayne Pivac celebrates Scarlets win at Bath with Scott Williams

The New Zealander said he wasn't surprised big names were being linked with the team given their success over the last year and the brand of rugby being played and believes North would fit perfectly within their backline.

"It's a no brainer," said Pivac.

"You only have to look at what happened to Foxy (Jonathan Davies) when he came back (from Clermont).

"Anyone who plays the game at that level and the way we play the game, as an outside back, who wouldn't want to be here?"

The Scarlets will wait to give Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny every chance of proving his fitness before the crucial Champions Cup fixture against Toulon on Saturday, 20 January.

Halfpenny missed the 35-17 win at Bath on Friday, 12 January due to a pectoral injury.

New Zealand wing Johnny McNicholl is a major doubt as he continues to struggle with a shoulder injury suffered in the Boxing Day win against the Ospreys.

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