George North is returning to Wales and all four regions are keen to sign him up. But with Wales the priority, Peter Jackson wonders what value they will get from a player who has so often been kept on the sidelines through injury. George North arrived at Franklin’s Gardens from West Wales one year after Chris Ashton left for North London. The Welsh colossus reported for duty in the summer of 2013 fresh from some famous deeds for the Lions in Australia and eager to help Northampton continue to lord it over the rest as newly-crowned champions of England. They had won the title, what’s more, at the expense of the opponent they love to beat more than any other, Saracens – and Ashton to boot.
Paul Clement has admitted Swansea City are already facing “Cup finals” in their search for points – and the Premier League season is not even halfway over. The Swans remain in the relegation zone after taking only one point from their last six games. But Saturday's opponents Stoke are only four points better off than Swansea, having won only once in seven games.
The fourth game of a series of Test matches should feel climactic, but it’s one step – and certainly one sup – too far for Robin Davey. The bloke carrying six pints who walks past just as Steff Evans goes on a run. You know who you are. Do one. Wales against South Africa has never been a game worthy of downgrading, but this weekend’s clash at the Principality Stadium has been seriously overshadowed by other events. The fixture itself - until recently one of the major northern-southern hemisphere clashes - has been bypassed by massive criticism of crowd behaviour inside the stadium and by whether there should be of a fourth autumn international at all.