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Faletau set for further surgery

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Wales and Bath back row Faletau faces further injury setback

After fracturing his right forearm for Bath in their Heineken Champions Cup game against Wasps in January, both the club and Wales were hopeful that Taulupe Faletau would return before the end of the Guinness Six Nations.

That match was Faletau’s first since he suffered another fracture in October, with the number eight limited to just one appearance so far this season.

It comes off the back of two more injury-impacted seasons since the Welshman moved to the club in 2016, with the back rower only having managed to accrue 29 Gallagher Premiership appearances in total in the two and a half seasons since he arrived.

Bath’s latest update is not good news for the 28-year-old, either, with the club confirming that he would require another surgery on the injury.

Director of Rugby, Todd Blackadder, said: “We’re gutted for Taulupe, but this is the best course of action for him moving forwards as a player.

“We will know more in terms of timeframes following the surgery, but we’re looking forward to welcoming him back into the squad.”

Any hope Wales had of welcoming him back in time for the conclusion of the Six Nations will now have faded, with Warren Gatland thus far having rotated between Ross Moriarty and Josh Navidi at the position. Faletau only managed to add two caps to his tally of 70 in 2018 due to injury and his absence is one that Wales feel strongly, but also one that they have been dealing with for the last year.

As for Bath, Zach Mercer has been featuring prominently at number eight in Faletau’s convalescence, whilst Josh Bayliss has also begun to make his breakthrough into the senior side.

Faletau will now be targeting a return to the national team later this year, when Wales take on England and Ireland home and away, in four Rugby World Cup warm-up fixtures.

Watch: Ireland and Leinster flanker Sean O’Brien set join London Irish

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Wales and Bath back row Faletau faces further injury setback