Wales Legend Shane Williams Has His Say On Controversial George North Incident

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Should North have been allowed come back on?

Northampton’s decision to allow George North to return to play following a head injury this past weekend has been a huge topic of discussion. North was left lying motionless on the ground after a mid-air collision with Adam Thompstone during the Saints game with Leicester this past weekend.

The Leicester player was handed a yellow card over the challenge, but it’s Northampton’s decision to allow the winger to return to the game, just six minutes later, that has angered many people.

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Northampton issued a statement late on Saturday night insisting they had followed the correct procedures and that North passed his Head Injury Assessment but many people are not convinced.

Wales legend and former teammate Shane Williams has now had his say on the incident and has stated that people must give North the benefit of the doubt, and take his word, after the winger revealed that he lied motionless because he was worried about a possibly neck injury.

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It is an understatement to suggest the images didn’t look good.” Williams said.

“They appeared to indicate yet again that George had suffered yet another nasty head injury that had left him knocked out.

“Understandably, given the player’s history of head injuries, people are concerned for his well-being and there are many who question whether he should have resumed so quickly after taking such a bump.

“There have even been calls for him to retire.

“George has since indicated his neck was the problem, not his head.

“Some people are slightly incredulous on that point, perhaps feeling that something is being concealed because of all the trouble the big man has had with concussions in the past.

“For me, it’s about accepting George’s word.

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Williams went on to say that he believes North is intelligent enough to know that there’s life after the game as well and that he is aware of his own health and well-being. He also believes that we should trust the medical professionals that handled the incident.

“He is a young lad for whom rugby is a huge focus. He lives and breathes the game and obviously hopes to enjoy a long career.

“But he is also intelligent enough to realise there is life after the game as well.

“He is in a relationship and one day he and his partner may have children. George isn’t going to want to do anything that would jeopardise his long-term health. I’m sorry, rugby isn’t that important.

“My feeling is we just need to run with what George has said. It’s an honesty call from him.

“Of all the players in the game, he probably understands head injuries and their consequences as well as anyone. He will appreciate how foolhardy it would be for anyone to try to downplay one.

“Also, the medical professionals who handled him in Leicester would have been even more acutely aware of those issues.

“Logic suggests that given the player’s history, those medics are going to be ultra-vigilant if there is even a hint of a head knock. Those guys know that safety of players is paramount.”

What do you think? Should we take North’s word or is there more to this?

Jason Hennessy

Jason Hennessy

Jason is the editor at RugbyLAD. Any queries big or small you can reach him at [email protected]
Jason Hennessy