North concern for Wales
Wales could be without George North for the start of the Six Nations after the Northampton ace picked up a knee injury.
North sustained the injury in Saturday's heavy 50-21 defeat to Harlequins at Twickenham Stoop and there are now serious concerns over his fitness for the start of the Six Nations.
Wales kick-off at home to Scotland on February 3 and initial tests are suggesting the 25-year-old, who has earned 69 international caps, could be on the sidelines for around four weeks.
Speaking on the blow to North, Saints' technical coaching consultant Alan Gaffney said: "While it's disappointing that George will be missing ahead of Saturday's game, this injury means an opportunity for another player in the squad to step up to the plate.
"I'm sure George will be diligent in his rehab and we all wish him a swift recovery."
James Mason grew up in Northumberland so is entrenched in both the football and golf scenes. A low handicap golfer, he also follows Newcastle United and predicts big things under Rafa Benitez.