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Saint Ted
Dickens has his say on the North saga
Saint Ted (IP Logged)
06 March, 2018 16:26

 
Saint Mulc
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
Saint Mulc (IP Logged)
06 March, 2018 16:43
I've skimmed the article twice now and it didn't really clarify matters for me. Could be interpreted in different ways. There obviously was a breakdown in communications between Alan Gaffney and Alan Dickens or between Alan G and George. Either of which should not be happening.

 
Walks11
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
Walks11 (IP Logged)
06 March, 2018 16:49
My take on the article is that conversations were had with George the previous week and Dickens and co decided he wasn’t in the right space to play for whatever reason, probably Wales related. Still blurry but at least he hadn’t gone AWOL and it was an agreement that he was not required. Still not great but better than the perceived not showing up scenario that most had arrived at.

Sounds like Gaffney was p’d off generally had a rant about a number of things and George’s unavailability came out in a not particularly helpful way.

 
TringSaint
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
TringSaint (IP Logged)
06 March, 2018 16:50
I read it that George suggested he didnt want to play this weekend and at the end a decision by the managment was made to not select him.

Whatever the reason for not wanting to play, he obviously didnt (Dickens cites physically or psychologically ready) for one of those reasons and i guess Gaffney is calling him out, because he sure isnt injured!

If George is not psychologically up to playing for the club when we need him (but is up for playing for Wales a week later), then that actually makes his position even more untenable as he then liable not to play for us or any other club on a whim. Shows scant desire for the shirt!

Not covering himself in glory is George.

 
Sans Culottes
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
Sans Culottes (IP Logged)
06 March, 2018 16:54
“George has got his Wales head on and from our point of view, we’ve got our Anglo-Welsh Cup head on and all of our focus is on the players who are here and want to play for the Saints.”

The way I read it it seems to me pretty clear what is being implied here, other wise leave it at.“George has got his Wales head on and from our point of view, we’ve got our Anglo-Welsh Cup head on"

Of course I might be reading something into it that wasn't intended.

 
alwayshopeful
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
alwayshopeful (IP Logged)
06 March, 2018 16:57
All a bit of a mystery really.. it could be read as the old club "how do you feel about playing this weekend?" attitude bumped right into a more "If you aren't threatening a fist fight if you are not picked to play - you are a problem" attitude..

I hope everyone now understands better!

 
Merlin-k
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
Merlin-k (IP Logged)
06 March, 2018 17:01
The article suggests that there was communication between both sides - clearly this is a positive for Saints. Then, assuming GN has no physical injury (and nothing has been reported) then he was not in the right psychological space to be playing. That could be a conscious thing, in which case bad for GN, or an unconscious thing. We all have days when we don’t fancy work, in most cases our boss can’t just call in a substitute. In this case the Saints may have felt that GN would not be putting 💯 % and therefore they were best with a different squad. Sadly it seems a bit football prima donna from GN.

 
St.Sinner
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
St.Sinner (IP Logged)
06 March, 2018 17:01
Doesn’t need change anything for me unfortunately. Same story just different words;
The coaches wanted George to play.
George didn’t wanna play because we aren’t Wales.

 
Saint Mulc
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
Saint Mulc (IP Logged)
06 March, 2018 17:01
Quote:
Sans Culottes
“George has got his Wales head on and from our point of view, we’ve got our Anglo-Welsh Cup head on and all of our focus is on the players who are here and want to play for the Saints.”
The way I read it it seems to me pretty clear what is being implied here, other wise leave it at.“George has got his Wales head on and from our point of view, we’ve got our Anglo-Welsh Cup head on"

Of course I might be reading something into it that wasn't intended.

Excuse me if I'm being dense but I found the reference to the Anglo=Welsh Cup added to the confusion as last week's game v Sale was a Premiership game.

 
St.Sinner
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
St.Sinner (IP Logged)
06 March, 2018 17:04
Quote:
Saint Mulc
Quote:
Sans Culottes
“George has got his Wales head on and from our point of view, we’ve got our Anglo-Welsh Cup head on and all of our focus is on the players who are here and want to play for the Saints.”
The way I read it it seems to me pretty clear what is being implied here, other wise leave it at.“George has got his Wales head on and from our point of view, we’ve got our Anglo-Welsh Cup head on"

Of course I might be reading something into it that wasn't intended.

Excuse me if I'm being dense but I found the reference to the Anglo=Welsh Cup added to the confusion as last week's game v Sale was a Premiership game.

Dickens is referring to the upcoming Friday Semi final vs Bath in the AW cup .

 
HungryLikeTheWolf
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
Wilson Pickett (IP Logged)
06 March, 2018 17:08
“George has his Wales head on”


Hopefully Dan Biggar has 2 heads !

 
JRM
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
JRM (IP Logged)
06 March, 2018 17:11

 
Saint Mulc
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
Saint Mulc (IP Logged)
06 March, 2018 17:12
Quote:
St.Sinner
Quote:
Saint Mulc
Quote:
Sans Culottes
“George has got his Wales head on and from our point of view, we’ve got our Anglo-Welsh Cup head on and all of our focus is on the players who are here and want to play for the Saints.”
The way I read it it seems to me pretty clear what is being implied here, other wise leave it at.“George has got his Wales head on and from our point of view, we’ve got our Anglo-Welsh Cup head on"

Of course I might be reading something into it that wasn't intended.

Excuse me if I'm being dense but I found the reference to the Anglo=Welsh Cup added to the confusion as last week's game v Sale was a Premiership game.

Dickens is referring to the upcoming Friday Semi final vs Bath in the AW cup .

Yes but I thought Alan Dickens was trying to explain why he didn't play last week versus Sale. Everybody at Saints knew he was unlikely to play for Saints this week when Wales were due to play.

 
Box kick it
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
Box kick it (IP Logged)
06 March, 2018 17:21
Reading it in context. Dickens was asked, have you spoken to George and his reply was no, he has his Wales head on and we have our AW head on.

 
St.Sinner
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
St.Sinner (IP Logged)
06 March, 2018 17:21
Quote:
Saint Mulc
Quote:
St.Sinner
Quote:
Saint Mulc
Quote:
Sans Culottes
“George has got his Wales head on and from our point of view, we’ve got our Anglo-Welsh Cup head on and all of our focus is on the players who are here and want to play for the Saints.”
The way I read it it seems to me pretty clear what is being implied here, other wise leave it at.“George has got his Wales head on and from our point of view, we’ve got our Anglo-Welsh Cup head on"

Of course I might be reading something into it that wasn't intended.


Excuse me if I'm being dense but I found the reference to the Anglo=Welsh Cup added to the confusion as last week's game v Sale was a Premiership game.

Dickens is referring to the upcoming Friday Semi final vs Bath in the AW cup .

Yes but I thought Alan Dickens was trying to explain why he didn't play last week versus Sale. Everybody at Saints knew he was unlikely to play for Saints this week when Wales were due to play.

That does explain why he didn’t play last week; he had his Wales head on & didn’t care for our game VS Sale. He then states all we care about is our next game & the players who want to play for us.

 
Saint Ted
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
Saint Ted (IP Logged)
06 March, 2018 17:28
Yeah, I think that’s Dickens just trying to move the conversation on from a subject the club could really do without at the minute!

 
Saint Ted
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
Saint Ted (IP Logged)
06 March, 2018 17:29
This bit should get some more opinions....

Asked if North will play for Northampton again, Dickens told BBC Radio Northampton: "That's a pretty direct question. That's a question I can't really answer.

"George is contracted to the club and when he comes back we'll need to talk."

 
Saint Mulc
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
Saint Mulc (IP Logged)
06 March, 2018 17:33
Quote:
Saint Ted
Yeah, I think that’s Dickens just trying to move the conversation on from a subject the club could really do without at the minute!

Fair enough. Makes sense.

 
Dragonboy
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
Dragonboy (IP Logged)
06 March, 2018 18:35
Beginning to stir memories of the time Robbie Kempson clearly didn't want to play. Someone passed him the ball and he threw it to the ground. At least we didn't have that scenario but honestly? Is there any realistic way back or out of this farce for any of those involved? And what role did Warren Gatland play in this? I can't believe he didn't have his oar in there somewhere, especially as he sent George back to us seemingly for a 60 minute run out and we had George out there for the full 90. So this time was George put on the spot not to play? George. Who do you want to @#$%& of more. Me - ie WG who holds the keys to your Wales future or Saints who you're already on record as leaving. Just hope something works out for George with one of the provinces and that he doesn't have to come cap in hand back to us. What I think we need to take from this is Tom Collin's dads Twitter post mentioned earlier. "Tom wanted to play"

 
Deesaint
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
Deesaint (IP Logged)
06 March, 2018 18:38
No clarity whatsoever in fact would have been better if he just said - no comment
Ended up leaving a lot of empty space that those with entrenched thoughts completed so it leant towards their views
Mini Jim

 
andysaint
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
andysaint (IP Logged)
06 March, 2018 18:49
I imagine that’s this is like the Picamoles situation. The club may be trying to publically put themselves in a good position and North in a bad position. I’d be surprised if there had been no communication behind the scenes and they are trying to sort out contracts and payments.

All not good and unlikely to be resolved until North is back from Wales I’d expect.

 
Angus67
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
Angus67 (IP Logged)
06 March, 2018 19:08
what a mess.

 
Eif Jones
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
Eif Jones (IP Logged)
07 March, 2018 01:39
Dickens's say is a load of waffle, Gaffney admitted he hadn't spoken to North, now Dickens says he hasn't spoken to North. North played for Wales the previous week so Saints would have had to go out of their way to speak to him last weekend. If Saints wanted him to play then a simple telephone call would have sufficed and would have clarified the nonsense spouted by Gaffney and Dickens one way or another. The WRU and North's agent did the right thing by not commenting, pity that Dickens didn't do the same thing.

What is more telling is that the winger who seemed to want to play the most on Saturday actually came off the bench i.e. Pisi. If North had been available then Pisi most probably wouldn't even have been in the match day squad. In summary, Gaffney was brought in to improve the existing playing squad, has failed in that objective, so has tried to use this as an excuse for his failure.

 
TringSaint
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
TringSaint (IP Logged)
07 March, 2018 07:18
Eif,I think you need to stop tirelessly defending George.
The reports suggest that he was not psychologically in the right place to play for us (whatever that means), so clearly was a decision that he had taken and the coaches had to accept it as he was in wales not Northampton.

Bit like when he was in Rio watching Becky cycling as opposed to training with the team!!

 
andysaint
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
andysaint (IP Logged)
07 March, 2018 07:21
Quote:
Eif Jones
Dickens's say is a load of waffle, Gaffney admitted he hadn't spoken to North, now Dickens says he hasn't spoken to North. North played for Wales the previous week so Saints would have had to go out of their way to speak to him last weekend. If Saints wanted him to play then a simple telephone call would have sufficed and would have clarified the nonsense spouted by Gaffney and Dickens one way or another. The WRU and North's agent did the right thing by not commenting, pity that Dickens didn't do the same thing.
What is more telling is that the winger who seemed to want to play the most on Saturday actually came off the bench i.e. Pisi. If North had been available then Pisi most probably wouldn't even have been in the match day squad. In summary, Gaffney was brought in to improve the existing playing squad, has failed in that objective, so has tried to use this as an excuse for his failure.

(Sm157)

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
SaintMaul (IP Logged)
07 March, 2018 08:28
The points that seemed most pertinent to me were:

- George was at Saints last week where Dickens says we had 'conversations' (plural) with George i.e. face to face
- Following these conversations Saints decided not to pick him
- Dickens mentions physical and psychological  reasons [How often are psychological reasons cited without a specific reason e.g. birth, loss of a family member etc)?
- Gaffney and Dickens both make the the same point when being asked about George about picking players who want to play for Saints. Tom Collins' dad's tweet adds to a strong inference that George did not want to play.
- Dickens has the chance to close it down as a misunderstanding. Instead he says 'There was most definitely not a breakdown in communication'
- When asked if George will play for Saints again, he responds he can't answer that at the moment and they'll need to talk to George when he returns. Again suggesting the coaches view there is a genuine issue rather than a misunderstanding.

 
tboullem
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
Mobbs (IP Logged)
07 March, 2018 08:54
We are, I suppose, fortunate that Saints have little to play for during the next couple of months other than pride. Perhaps the best option is to put George on gardening leave and let him sort out his next chapter. No doubt we will see a ghosted autobiography one of these days when we shall find our more - you can still get Ashtons for 2.99 in the remainder shops !

 
SaintsAsh
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
SaintsAsh (IP Logged)
07 March, 2018 10:45
For me this statement just backs up what the Gaffa said.

 
Jimbob999
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
Jimbob999 (IP Logged)
07 March, 2018 12:37
Quote:
Eif Jones
Dickens's say is a load of waffle, Gaffney admitted he hadn't spoken to North, now Dickens says he hasn't spoken to North. North played for Wales the previous week so Saints would have had to go out of their way to speak to him last weekend. If Saints wanted him to play then a simple telephone call would have sufficed and would have clarified the nonsense spouted by Gaffney and Dickens one way or another. The WRU and North's agent did the right thing by not commenting, pity that Dickens didn't do the same thing.
What is more telling is that the winger who seemed to want to play the most on Saturday actually came off the bench i.e. Pisi. If North had been available then Pisi most probably wouldn't even have been in the match day squad. In summary, Gaffney was brought in to improve the existing playing squad, has failed in that objective, so has tried to use this as an excuse for his failure.


Spot on!! 100% correct, North being hung out to dry by poor Saints management decisions

 
Merlin-k
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
Merlin-k (IP Logged)
07 March, 2018 12:43
Quote:
Eif Jones
North played for Wales the previous week so Saints would have had to go out of their way to speak to him last weekend. If Saints wanted him to play then a simple telephone call would have sufficed.

I normally make it a point not to reply to Eif, but this amazes me. My boss expects me in work unless I tell him I will be somewhere else and why. It is my responsibility to tell him. It is not my bosses responsibility to phone me every week to see if I can be bothered to come in to work or not this week. GN is employed by Saints and therefore he has a duty to the Saints. If he was psychologically not in the right 0ace, which I can accept if he is suffering from stress or has a bereavement, then he would not be psychologically in the right place to play for Wales.

I am Welsh. I have long been a firm fan of GN. When he plays well he is incredible and any clip of best rugby moments can include GN playing. And he has suffered some serious injuries which may explain why he is no longer the force he once was. I also always like to think the best of people. But in this case I am disappointed in GN, not in the Saints, I feel he has let the team, and the rugby community as a whole, down by what appears to be soccer mentality.

 
Eif Jones
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
Eif Jones (IP Logged)
09 March, 2018 01:09
Merlin, you miss the point, if the Saints coaches were that bothered then they would be able to speak from strength if they had spoken to him. I suspect its very different for you, you probably only have one boss, during the 6N North has two bosses.

Do you know how the non international week-ends work with non-English players? I don't. If the regulations are such that a player can stay in the international camp until the week end itself then is released to play for his club, or is it that he has to return to his club after a rest day.

There obviously has been confusion. Saints specifically asked for George's release 2 weeks before, it didn't seem automatic. So why was last weekend any different.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
shendy (IP Logged)
09 March, 2018 08:04
I thought North was specifically released back to Saints on the first off-weekend, to get more game time? I don't recall seeing that we requested him - do you have a link to somewhere that says that?


It's quite clear for English players, and has been for some years now - England own them for the whole 6N plus the weekend before (that's why the Anglo-Welsh Cup starts the week before the 6N*). They may decide to release players back to the clubs but don't have to. That's the PRL deal with the RFU.

* For the English sides at least - the Welsh sides do their AW head-to-heads another week for some reason.

 
rugbymel
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
rugbymel (IP Logged)
09 March, 2018 08:44
Agree with all that Shendy. The RFU pay the clubs for that arrangement. WRU pay nothing and have no call on players on rest weekends.

 
MarchingIn
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
MarchingIn (IP Logged)
09 March, 2018 09:45
People should think back to how Malinder played at 10 when he knew he was going to England final 25 man squad camp a few days after the game. He had a howler.
That's what is meant by "psychologically in the right place".

Much as some people would like to think that players should value the Saints shirt over the opportunity to represent their country, that isn't reality. If you're GN, and you're leaving Saints to take a central contract, and you know we neither face relegation or a fight for top 4/6, and there are whisperings you shouldn't be picked for Wales in form, and you haven't got a club for next year - which game matters to you? The next Wales match or a dead rubber against Sale infront of a half full stadium? Obviously the Wales game! That's human nature, not some moral deficiency North is suffering. Players are not machines, mentality is mainly what separates us from Exeter or Saracens, not skill or physical attributes, but it's the coaches role to develop and foster mentality.

Saints have got a handful of games left after the 6N and it's important we try to end the season with a bit of purpose. On form, North can change a game. If I'm in charge, what I WANT is for him to play 80 in every game and have a stormer, but I know I can't achieve that, so what's the next best thing I CAN achieve?

The answer is simple - I can have him back playing well after the 6Ns and get him into a mental space where he is fired up. So... rest him from the Sale match and have a chat with him. I'd be telling him it's been great having him at Saints and what I want him to do is get the 6N done and enjoy it. I'm going to tell him that how I see his last few games as an opportunity for both him and the club - he's going to play off the bench for a couple of games - I'm going to bring him on in the 2nd half for 30 minutes to switch up the attack and run at tired defenders, but he's definitely going to start his final game against Worcester and run out infront of the home crowd for the last time and take their applause. Maximise his motivation to perform, get him to think of it as an opportunity to showcase himself and leave on a high.

Both Nafi and Ken seem to have that wonderful islander mentality of playing for personal pride and love of the game. You don't see them hanging their heads if picked in an A game or forcing it and having a howler when picked for the prem. Knowing this would have convinced me to keep Nafi on the bench as he can play centre too, rest Ken, and start Collins. The lad must me champing at the bit to play and his head will go down if he doesn't get an opportunity - plus he can be lethal with the ball in hand.

Ending up in a situation where Collins who was on fire in September hasn't even had a sniff of the bench and is probably pretty gutted, and North may leave us early under a cloud is simply a clumsy failure of man management in my eyes.

 
bg
Re: Dickens has his say on the North saga
bg (IP Logged)
09 March, 2018 13:38
Quote:
Eif Jones
Merlin, you miss the point, if the Saints coaches were that bothered then they would be able to speak from strength if they had spoken to him. I suspect its very different for you, you probably only have one boss, during the 6N North has two bosses.
Do you know how the non international week-ends work with non-English players? I don't. If the regulations are such that a player can stay in the international camp until the week end itself then is released to play for his club, or is it that he has to return to his club after a rest day.

There obviously has been confusion. Saints specifically asked for George's release 2 weeks before, it didn't seem automatic. So why was last weekend any different.

It appears the WFRU have no claim on a Welsh international player who has a contract with an EPL club in rest weeks as technically they don't fall within "international windows". So he doesn't have 2 bosses during 6N.. he has one boss for the international window and another.. who pays the majority of his yearly income when its not an internationl window i.e. the rest/fallow weeks

Having such a clause in the contract to ensure that release, would also seem to place the club in a litigious position with PRL.

George must have known this when re-signing his big contract. Why should it be Saints management problem having to ask for him to be released or to call him to say

"When are you coming back to the club for training and team selection"

Tts like being an employee... your boss calling Thurs/Fri evening out of the blue and asking if you'll be in next week

"In actual fact boss.. nah.. don't fancy coming in.. see you in a couple of weeks"

I know what would happen in most employment scenarios


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