Sources close to George North have told the BBC he has been “hung out to dry” by Northampton interim boss Alan Gaffney, who suggested the Wales winger “didn’t want to play” against Sale.
The 25-year-old was released from Wales’ camp during the Six Nations fallow week but was not available for his club over the weekend.
And it’s been reported that some of Northampton’s management are privately furious at his conduct.
North is understood to have had a deal with the previous boss Jim Mallinder that he would not play on rest weekends.
However, it appears Gaffney either was not aware of or did not honour this agreement, with sources citing a lack of communication between all parties.
“We picked a side that actually wanted to be out on the pitch,” Gaffney told BBC Radio Northampton following the 34-25 defeat by the Sharks.
North, who has been at Northampton since 2013, will be leaving at the end of the season to return to Wales and has been tipped for a switch to Scarlets.