World Rugby’s concussion advisor has warned Saints star George North against playing again this season.
North was knocked unconscious in Friday’s win against Wasps at Franklin’s Gardens after the knee of Nathan Hughes made contact with his head.
The 22-year-old has a history of suffering concussion and was ruled out of Wales’s final autumn international against South Africa after suffering a blow to the head against New Zealand.
He was also rested by his country for a Six Nations game in Scotland last month after enduring two hefty knocks in the clash with England.
North, who has tweeted that he is ‘feeling ok’ and is ‘up and about’, will be sent for assessment by a specialist this week with Saints stressing they place ‘the highest importance on player welfare’.
But Professor Willie Stewart feels North will be placing his career in jeopardy if he takes to the field again this season.
I think he (George North) personally needs to say, ‘No, I’m not playing again this season’. If he does play again too soon it could be the end of his World Cup or even his careerWorld Rugby concussion advisor Professor Willie Stewart
“George needs to be given an extended rest period to figure out if this is something that he has just not recovered from or whether there are genuine issues,” World Rugby’s concussion advisor told the Mail on Sunday.
“I think he personally needs to say, ‘No, I’m not playing again this season’. If he does play again too soon it could be the end of his World Cup or even his career.
“The people looking after him, including Northampton and the Welsh Rugby Union, should be recommending some time out and the experts he is seeing should recommend some time out.
“No-one should be talking about playing him next week. That’s just ridiculous. I know at this time of year we’re getting into the thick of it for trophies and championships but it’s also getting into the sharp end for George’s brain.
“I would be surprised if he makes another appearance.
“The people who are minding him and looking after his career should be saying to him that in World Cup year, even if he feels 100 per cent better in six weeks, it is not worth risking his chance on the highest stage.”