Welsh speaker North, who was born in the English town of King's Lynn and grew up in Anglesey, North Wales debuted for the Scarlets in September 2010 having come through development rugby in North Wales and then Scarlets regional pathway via a bursary at Llandovery College. North has made 41 appearances for the Scarlets with 70 points. Aged just 18, he scored two tries in his first-ever Scarlets match against Benetton Treviso.
He made his Test debut as an 18-year-old against South Africa in 2010, scoring two tries on that occasion and went on to play a starring role as Wales reached the 2011 World Cup semi-finals, before helping them secure the 2012 and 2013 Six Nations titles. He has 31 caps for Wales.
Chief Executive of the Scarlets, Mark Davies said: "Everyone at the Scarlets will wish George the very best in his future career now that it is clear he will be playing his club rugby in Northampton for the next few years.
"Despite our desire to retain all our internationals within the region, we have to balance our available resource over the need to sustain a 50-deep player squad that can continue to compete during international periods.
"Taking that into account, we made George the very best offer we could. However, we have to fully understand and appreciate that George's quite unique value in the rugby marketplace, possibly inside Wales, but certainly outside Wales, is considerably greater than the Scarlets as an independent business can reach."
The Scarlets Chief Executive confirmed that they had contacted George's representative in late January, immediately following a direct approach from a club outside the UK. He also confirmed that whilst these speculative approaches are not unusual and happen throughout the season with high profile players, it was clear that on this occasion, the club involved was very serious in its intent. Following standard practice and as requested, all further discussions were held via George's representative .
Mark Davies added: "We are obviously massively disappointed to be losing a player of George's world-class quality and ability from Parc y Scarlets, however we appreciate the reality that the profile and success he has achieved in such a short space of time attracts huge attention and makes him a prized player for any club in Europe.
"The last few weeks have been made increasingly difficult with considerable added pressure on George, those close to him and the Scarlets with the continuing level of intrusion, speculation and debate from outside the region surrounding George's future with us. We firmly believe that this situation illustrates that our policy of privacy for individuals is the correct and proper position for our business to take at all times.
"We fully respect the right of any individual to ensure they pursue the very best opportunities available to them and now that a final decision has been reached, we sincerely hope George will be allowed to get on and enjoy the rest of his season with the Scarlets. He will leave with our sincere thanks for all he has done for Scarlets Rugby and our very best wishes from everyone in our region for the future."
Christian Abt, George North's representative said: "Once we'd been informed by the Scarlets that a club outside the UK had made a significant approach, which the Scarlets had to consider, we focused on ways to keep George at the Scarlets, or within Wales.
"Given our initial intention to complete the existing contract, the Scarlets made the best offer they could for an extended agreement, but unfortunately, having taken into account every aspect involved in such an important decision, we were unable to agree terms.
"At the same time it became very apparent that due to a number of factors beyond our control and with no clear directive on the horizon, keeping George in Wales would prove increasingly difficult over time.
"Following the recent weeks of much publicised debate, we are delighted to have reached an agreement with Northampton Saints who have made every effort to make what was a very difficult and emotional decision into a very sensible one, and George can now look forward and work hard throughout the remainder of his season with the Scarlets before his move to Northampton in the summer."
Allan Robson, Chief Executive of Northampton Saints said: "We are delighted to have reached an agreement with the Scarlets for George North to join us; we thank the Scarlets for their co-operation and responsibility in this matter since we made an approach via George North's representative to discuss bringing him to Franklin's Gardens.
"Everyone in our rugby community recognises and respects what an outstanding job the Scarlets have done to support, develop and invest in George North as rugby player, along with many other internationals within their remarkably successful set-up.
"He is an exceptional talent and one of the most formidable back-three attacking players in world rugby - with so much more to achieve in his rugby career at just 20 years old. We look forward with great anticipation to what he can bring to his performances with Northampton Saints next season."