Gatland blocks Faletau move despite Dragons protests

Image: National Assembly for Wales/Flickr

Image: National Assembly for Wales/Flickr

Wales coach Warren Gatland has blocked Number 8 Taulupe Faletau’s move from Newport Gwent Dragons to Bath.

The 24-year-old, who has won 52 caps for the Welsh national side since his debut in 2011, had been expected to make the switch to the English Premiership side.

However, under a funding agreement for domestic Welsh rugby, the national coach has to sanction players’ moves to other countries.

The Dragons described the news as “disappointing”, but chief executive Stuart Davies explained that the process had been fraught with complications.

“This has been a difficult and sensitive rugby matter, in which the needs and wishes of a player, a region, the wider game in Wales and the national side have all been part of a rather challenging conundrum,” he said.

“At the heart of it of course is Taulupe, who has been loyal to and is very happy at the Dragons.

“Having become aware however of possible interest in him from an English club, he formally requested permission to speak to them, which we granted, with a view to establishing what was best for the player and indeed the region.”

Despite their disappointment at the decision, Davies confirmed that Faletau would return to the side.

“Taulupe will now be part of our preparations for the weekend and we look forward to welcoming one of the world’s best number eights back into the fold. I have no doubt that his commitment to the Dragons will be as unfaltering as always.”

 

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