Scarlets confirm George North to join Northampton for next season
Last Updated: 09/04/13 7:11pm
George North: Will play his club rugby for Northampton in England next season
Scarlets have confirmed Wales wing George North will be released from his contract a year early to join Northampton Saints for the start of the 2013/14 season.
The 20-year-old starlet, who is all-but guaranteed a place on this summer's British & Irish Lions tour to Australia, has agreed a three-year deal with the Aviva Premiership club.
Chief Executive of the Scarlets, Mark Davies told the region's website: "Everyone at the Scarlets will wish George the very best in his future career now that it is clear he will be playing his club rugby in Northampton for the next few years.
"Despite our desire to retain all our internationals within the region, we have to balance our available resource over the need to sustain a 50-deep player squad that can continue to compete during international periods.
"George's quite unique value in the rugby marketplace... is considerably greater than the Scarlets as an independent business can reach"
Scarlets chief executive Mark Davies
"Taking that into account, we made George the very best offer we could. However, we have to fully understand and appreciate that George's quite unique value in the rugby marketplace, possibly inside Wales, but certainly outside Wales, is considerably greater than the Scarlets as an independent business can reach."
Northampton chief executive Allan Robson added: "He is an exceptional talent and one of the most formidable back-three attacking players in world rugby.
"We look forward with great anticipation to what he can bring to his performances with Northampton Saints next season."
North, who is widely considered to be one of the most promising wings in world rugby, was a key member of the Wales squad that snatched Six Nations glory from under England's noses earlier in the year.
He becomes Northampton's latest high-profile recruit for next season, following the recruitment of England prop Alex Corbisiero and Samoa international scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'i.
"George is an outstanding talent and we are looking forward to him being a part of our squad for at least the next three years," Saints rugby director Jim Mallinder said.
"Despite still being at the start of his career, he has shown repeatedly that he has the ability and temperament to succeed at the highest level of the game, and we believe that he will play a big role as we look to take the next steps in our development."