Today’s rugby news as George North considers leaving and ‘further investigations’ needed on Wales star

North visits French club

Wales centre George North has been linked with a move to French second division outfit Provence Rugby. The ambitious Pro D2 side boast one of the biggest budgets in the league and are clearly keen to force their way into the Top 14.

They have previously signed Tomas Francis, a tight end for Wales, and when North’s contract with the Ospreys expires in 2019, he is reportedly also being considered by them, according to publications in France.

The 31-year-old reportedly went to the club this week to speak with executives, according to Rugbyrama. North stated after his fourth World Cup that he is eager to continue representing Wales for an extended period of time.

“I was really happy with my form in the World Cup and I’m still competing for the jersey,” North recently stated.

“I still want to compete and have fun to earn my spot. It’s still a major motivator for me, and I want to continue if Warren Gatland, my employer, continues to choose me.”

Biggar still missing

Dan Biggar will once again sit it out for Toulon this weekend with the back injury he sustained earlier on this month still keeping him sidelined.

The fly-half pulled up in apparent agony while attempting a conversion against Perpignan and has since been under investigation by club specialists.

On Thursday, Toulon confirmed their team for their upcoming clash with Clermont on Saturday, with the iconic Welsh No 10 still absent from the team sheet.

The game signals Alun Wyn Jones’ final match for the Top 14 club.

Scarlets sweat on Plumtree

Following his injury against the Lions last weekend, Taine Plumtree, a standout player for Wales, is keeping the Scarlets anxiously waiting for an update.

In the summer’s World Cup warm-up Test match against England, Plumtree, 23, sustained a shoulder injury that would eventually keep him out of the competition.

He will not play in this weekend’s match against Leinster on Saturday, according to the west Wales region, which is awaiting more inquiry.

“He is not going to be right this weekend and we will have to wait on scans and further investigation,” said Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel.

“He had an injury during the England match, and now his shoulder hurts again. Let’s wait and see how things work out.

“It’s early days, the medical staff is doing a great job with him, and perhaps next Monday will bring more updates. He’s performed well. Although he is a skilled athlete, he is aware that there are aspects of his game that require improvement.

“He is prepared to work, he is a good character within the group and been a good fit for us and Wales where you are going to have a player in a year or so who will be very competitive.”

Dragons and Ospreys handed derby boost

Both the Dragons and the Ospreys have been handed major boosts ahead of their derby clash in the URC this weekend, with a host of Wales internationals set to return to the fold.

Rodney Parade is the setting for the latest meeting between the two sides, who have experienced different starts to the season. While the visitors have won two of their opening four games and lost the other two by eight-point

by large scores, the Dragons will be looking to start the new season on a high note at home on Saturday.

The announcement that Aaron Wainwright has been allowed to play after being substituted during last week’s loss to Leinster due to a knock to the head will cheer Dai Flanagan’s players. Flanagan is really relieved to have the green light after back rower Taine Basham received a four-game suspension for a late hit on Ross Byrne of Leinster.

In addition, Ollie Griffiths and Bradley Roberts could make a comeback for the derby, although Jared Rosser’s concussion will keep the hosts without him for some time.

“There was no actual HIA, which is good news for Aaron,” Flanagan remarked in response to a question on Wainwright’s prospects of playing. He’s trained and ready to play if called upon. He has been approved by two physicians and has completed all testing.

In the meanwhile, Jac Morgan, the captain of Wales, will make his club debut for the Ospreys after a hiatus since January. After returning from international action last weekend, World Cup teammate Gareth Thomas will join him, while hooker Sam Parry may potentially make a comeback from injury.

Ospreys head coach Toby Booth remarked, “We are excited to see those boys around. They are all fit and raring to go.”

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