Mallinder restates belief that North will stay at Saints

George North faced his former club on Saturday night (picture: Sharon Lucey)

George North faced his former club on Saturday night (picture: Sharon Lucey)

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Jim Mallinder has reiterated his belief that George North will stay at Saints beyond this season.

North’s current three-year deal comes to an end next summer and the wing has been linked with a return to former club Scarlets.

The Welsh club have already announced that Clermont Auvergne centre Jonathan Davies will be joining them for next season.

But Mallinder insists North is unlikely to follow his international team-mate to the Parc y Scarlets for the 2016/17 campaign.

“We are very, very confident that George will stay here,” said the Saints director of rugby when asked about North’s future after the 15-11 Champions Cup win over Scarlets on Friday night.

Mallinder has previously stressed to this publication that he cannot see why North, who helped Saints to an Aviva Premiership and Amlin Challenge Cup double in 2014, would want to leave Franklin’s Gardens.

When questioned about the 23-year-old’s links with Scarlets earlier this month, Mallinder said: “I wouldn’t see any reason why any of the players would want to leave Northampton Saints.

“It’s a good club, we’re a good family club, we play a good brand of rugby in a lovely part of England.”