When George North joined Northampton in the offseason he had it written into his contract that he would be eligible to appear in all of Wales’s matches. Northampton fulfilled their end of the deal by allowing North to play for Wales against Australia on November 30th even though that date fell outside the November test window.

And now it’s going to cost them. A three-man panel from the Premiership ruled that the Saints had broken the competition’s rules and subsequently fined them 60,000 pounds. That’s a lot of money. Not only does the fine impact Northampton in the long run with North but it could impact other clubs that sign Welsh players. Under the rules only England players are allowed to be released outside the international window.

Shaw Makes Move

Eagles scrumhalf Robbie Shaw is on the move. He’s joined London Scottish for the remainder of the season from National League One side Esher. Shaw has more than a dozen caps to his name and has split time with Mike Petri for the Eagles over the last two years. Previously Shaw played with the London Wasps Academy, Bristol, Leeds, and Richmond. He joins Eagles prop Eric Fry at the club.

Gatland Busy

Warren Gatland has been in the news a lot recently. The first bit of news involves him signing a contract extension that will see him stay as Wales manager until 2019. He’s been in charge of the team since 2007. This of course opens the door for Gatland to reprise his roles as British & Irish Lions coach in 2017. Staying with the Lions, Gatland also mades waves by saying the Lions should consider a quota system in the future. He drew heat for selecting a large number of Welsh players for the third and final test against Australia.

Not So Fast

It’s well know that French teams like to spend big on big name players, with the likes of Clermont and Toulon among the more free spending. But it appears that even those teams have a limit. Leigh Halfpenny and Alun-Wyn Jones have been linked the the club recently but Clermont say that they can’t afford what Jones and Halfpenny want. If we had to bet we’d still place money on at least one of them landing with the club.

Curtis Reed is the founder and editor of This Is American Rugby. He can be found on Twitter @ThisIsAmerRugby, on Facebook, and at www.thisisamericanrugby.com.