Wales vs Australia was one of the best games of the November internationals and George North was one of the best players in that game, scoring two tries and putting in a huge hit on Adam Ashley-Cooper.
His club side, Northampton, have paid a heavy price for their contribution to that game. Premiership Rugby have fined them £60,000 for releasing North to play because it was outside of the designated IRB test window.
North played against Australia on Nov 30. The match clashed with a full programme of Aviva Premiership fixtures, North missing his club’s game against Worcester. Wales have also arranged to play South Africa next season outside the scheduled international period which normally runs to three weeks.
Premier Rugby believes that it undermines the integrity of its own competitions if it allows players to be released over and above designated slots. The Rugby Football Union pays compensation to Premier Rugby when it organises matches outside the norm.
North is paid around £250,000 a year by Northampton, so a £60,000 fine is a considerable extra fee to pay for his services.