There will be no dramatic return to Welsh rugby for Taulupe Faletau it seems, with reports the Lions No.8 is set to ink new terms with Bath.
WalesOnline and Somerset Live both claim that Faletau is set to sign a two-year contract to stay at The Rec, the club he has called his home since 2016. The news dashes hopes of a Faletau return to a Welsh region.
There was no mention of the British and Irish Lions forward in a squad update back in June, leading many to presume the club were yet to agree terms with the Tongan born star. He was then linked to Beziers in the ProD2, who had been on verge of being bought out by UAE investors. That deal has since fallen through. In any event, specialist No.8 Alex Tulou had already agreed terms with the French club, suggesting Faletau negotiations were more ‘paper talk’ than anything of real significance.
The latter part of Faletau’s career has been marked by a seemingly never-ending bid to remain fit. A collarbone injury forced the forward to miss the Rugby World Cup in Japan. While he’s managed 76 caps for Wales, struggles with injuries have cost him in recent years.
In January he admitted he thought his Test career might be over following his most recent injury set-back.
“There was a lot that went on in that time, and I am just glad to be back in the fold,” said Faletau in the lead up to Wales’ Six Nations clash with Italy in Cardiff. “My first game back (for Bath) it was like having my first run-out for the Dragons – it had been that long.
“I was definitely nervous. At one point you wonder if you can still play rugby. I am just glad to be out there playing.”
“It has been a tough period in my career, and with the management I’ve had I have known how to deal with those situations.”
“I hadn’t played any rugby (following a previous injury) and that made it tougher as I thought I would be available to play some of the friendly games before the World Cup to see if I could have a chance to put my hand up.”
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