George North says he is already feeling the benefits from taking the decision to return to playing in Wales with Ospreys. The wing made the decision to end his five-year stint playing with Northampton Saints at the end of last season to sign a dual-contract agreement with the Wales Rugby Union and Ospreys.
Despite a drop in pay, the 26-year-old says he is already convinced he made the right call to ditch life in the Aviva Premiership, scoring five tries in six games for his Pro 14 region since his return.
The former Scarlet also went over for Wales during the 21-10 win over Scotland in last Saturday’s opening autumn international, moving him up to third in Wales’ all-time tryscorer standings. With his workload now jointly managed by the WRU and Ospreys, North believes he is benefittting physically from playing in his homeland and expects to reap the benefits on the pitch.
“You can tell by my body language on the field, the way I’m playing, it’s working better for me,” North told the Rugby Union Weekly podcast. “Coming back to Wales was a bit more of the bigger-picture decision; where I want to be and where I was at the time, and want to go.
“Coming back has given me that snapshot in a small window already. It’s allowed me to have a proper off-season, it’s allowing me to have a full pre-season. “Sometimes internationally you come back from tour, you have two or three weeks to get yourself ready for another season.
“It’s difficult to do that and then (being back in Wales) it’s allowing me to play a couple of games on the bounce, have rotation week (not playing) and then do a bit of conditioning to get back up to where I need to be and then go back to my work.”