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Faletau ruled out for season after injury 30 minutes into comeback

By Josh Raisey
Taulupe Faletau

Cardiff and Wales No8 Taulupe Faletau has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after fracturing his shoulder in his comeback against Ulster on Friday in the United Rugby Championship.

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The 104-cap Wales international, 33, was just 30 minutes into his first match of 2024 when he left the field cradling his arm, as Cardiff went on to lose 19-17 in Belfast.

Faletau had been on the sidelines since the World Cup last year when he broke his arm against Georgia. His return was delayed by a calf injury, which meant he did not participate in Wales’ Six Nations campaign.

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This latest injury will rule the No8 out of Wales’ July fixtures, where Warren Gatland’s side will take on Australia in a two-Test series.

Cardiff posted on X: “Confirmation from Matt Sherratt that Taulupe Faletau has fractured his shoulder and will miss the rest of the season. Best wishes and a speedy recovery Toby.”

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Cardiff have four matches remaining this season in the URC, beginning with their last match of the season at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday against Edinburgh (their final home match against the Ospreys will be played at the Cardiff City Stadium). That match will also serve as a farewell to club greats Josh Turnbull and Ellis Jenkins, who will retire at the end of the season.

Ahead of Faletau’s comeback against Ulster, Cardiff coach Sherratt showered the Wales international in praise, describing him as a “Rolls Royce”. He said: “It is brilliant to have him back, for Taulupe and for the rest of the group.

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“He’s a Rolls-Royce, isn’t he?

“He is out there running around and he gets the best out of everyone else.

“You can see it when he’s back around, with the likes of Mackenzie Martin, Alex Mann. Who doesn’t want to play with Taulupe Faletau? He’s a brilliant player.

“He doesn’t say a huge amount, he is pretty quiet, but he loves playing rugby. If you speak to him about the next game or playing for Wales, his eyes light up like he’s a first capper.”

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Jon 1 days ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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