North to miss Scotland clash

Published: Wednesday 11th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Wales wing George North has been given “an extended recovery period” and will not be involved in next Sunday’s RBS 6 Nations clash against Scotland at Murrayfield.

Northampton star North is replaced by Liam Williams as the solitary change from last Friday’s 21-16 home defeat against England.

North suffered two heavy blows to the head during that game, and although the Welsh Rugby Union has said he has been symptom-free in terms of concussion, the WRU said on its official Twitter feed that North will undergo an extended recovery period.

Rugby union’s world governing body World Rugby said earlier this week that North should not have remained on the field after a clash of heads with team-mate Richard Hibbard during the England clash.

But World Rugby added that it accepted the WRU’s explanation surrounding the incident.

North appeared to suffer a momentary loss of consciousness after the 61st-minute collision with Hibbard. WRU national medical manager Prav Mathema subsequently admitted that had the second incident been seen by medics then North would have been immediately taken off and replaced.

North left the field in the first half after receiving an accidental boot to the head from England lock Dave Attwood, but he was able to continue after treatment.

In their team announcement press release on Wednesday, Wales said: “North is currently symptom-free.

“And, while nearing the conclusion of the graduated return to play protocol, the decision has been taken to allow him an elongated recovery period in light of his recent concussive episode in the autumn period.”

North was concussed during Wales’ loss to world champions New Zealand in November and he missed the following weekend’s clash against South Africa.

Prop Samson Lee, though, has been named in the starting line-up for Murrayfield, subject to him successfully completing graduated return to play protocols after he was concussed against England.

Full-back Leigh Halfpenny and fly-half Dan Biggar both suffered knocks during the England encounter, but have made head coach Warren Gatland’s team.

Gatland said: “We have taken the decision to give George an extended recovery period ahead of the game against France (on February 28), in light of his concussion in the autumn.”

Williams’ selection will be well-received in many quarters, given his consistently outstanding form this season, as Wales look to bounce back following the England reversal against a country they have not lost to since 2007.

With Williams promoted to to the team, Scarlets centre Scott Williams joins the Wales replacements for Edinburgh.

Gatland added: “The response from the players has been very positive in training this week and we are looking forward to having the opportunity to right last weekend’s wrongs.

“Scotland started the tournament well against France, building on their autumn campaign, and they will be looking forward to welcoming us to Edinburgh this weekend.

“We know what we need to do and we hope our performance can reflect that.”

Prop Gethin Jenkins will make his 50th Six Nations appearance as Wales look to avoid losing their opening two Six Nations games for the first time since 2007.

Published: Wednesday 11th February 2015 by The News Editor

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