Northampton Saints head coach Alan Dickens has played down concerns over the last-minute withdrawal of Wales international George North from the recently concluded Anglo-Welsh Cup clash against Sale Sharks on Saturday.
Dickens insisted that the move was more of 'precautionary' as he felt some tightness leading into the game.
“George North pulled out just before kick-off,” Dickens told the Northampton Chronicle. “He was just tight so it was a precautionary measure to hold him back.
He’s probably had a tough week training with Wales. It was unfortunate, a last-minute withdrawal so not ideal.”
North, who has announced that he will return back to the Welsh region at the end of the 2017/18 season after signing a national dual contract, last started a game in October as he was troubled with a knee injury.
Despite, North's absence, Northampton went on to beat Sale Sharks with a 20-24 margin riding on a last-gasp try from
Nafi Tuitavake that has taken them to the top position in Pool 3.
“What pleased me most was that we stuck in, we went through the phases at the end, we were patient and we scored, so it’s a fantastic result," he added.