George North has decided to travel south to Aix-en-Provence next season, as he looks to swap the valleys of Wales for the warm scenic styles of the Bouches-du-Rhône. The signing of 121-cap Wales international indicates a huge shift in aspirations for Province Rugby, who currently sit in second place in the French ProD2.
Is unclear whether the 31-year-old will be playing in the first or second division when he arrives next season, but having accepted a two year deal, it is clear that he will be an important cog for a side wishing to establish themselves in the league above.
Speaking about the impending move, North said: “I just want to send a quick message to say how excited myself and my family are about joining Provence Rugby next season. I look forward to coming down and meeting and starting an amazing journey together. A bientot a Maurice-David. Allez les noirs”.
Provence CEO Denis Philipon has been incredibly enthusiastic surrounding his new capture, saying: “We met in George North a boy of incredible class, who immediately showed interest in the club’s project. His motivation is enormous. We are obviously very happy that he is joining us and we hope that he will thrill our supporters. His presence should allow us to take a very important step in our progress.
“George is a great rugby player but also a great man. We hope that through his talent, his professionalism, his knowledge of the very high level and his popularity, he will contribute to positioning Provence Rugby as one of the major players in French rugby of tomorrow.”
Despite having been around for what feels like decades, the wing, turned centre, remains at the very peak of his powers heading to France, with expectations that he will remain active for Wales during this time thanks to the 25-cap rule.