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Wales No.8 Taulupe Faletau to make long-awaited return to field for Bath

By PA
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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Wales number eight Taulupe Faletau will begin his comeback from a long-term injury in Bath’s Gallagher Premiership game against Wasps on Saturday.

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The 31-year-old has been sidelined since suffering an ankle injury during the British and Irish Lions’ South Africa tour last summer.

He took no part in Wales’ Autumn Nations Series campaign earlier this season and was not considered for the Guinness Six Nations squad.

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Faletau has been among a number of injured Lions unavailable to Wales head coach Wayne Pivac, alongside the likes of Alun Wyn Jones, George North, Ken Owens and Justin Tipuric.

But the 86 times-capped forward, who will join Cardiff next term, could find himself summoned by Pivac if his return to domestic action goes well.

Faletau starts at blindside flanker against Wasps in Coventry, and Bath head coach Neal Hatley said: “It is fantastic to have Taulupe back in our starting line-up.

“He has worked so hard on his rehabilitation with the support of our medical team, and we are all excited for him to run out in blue, black and white this weekend.

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“He brings a wealth of experience and his presence – as well as his role in managing our game – will have a huge impact on our team.”

BATH: 15 Tom Prydie, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni , 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Max Ojomoh, 11 Will Muir, 10 Orlando Bailey, 9 Ben Spencer; 1 Valeriy Morozov, 2 Jacques du Toit, 3 D’Arcy Rae, 4 Ewan Richards, 5 Josh McNally ©, 6 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Jaco Coetzee, 8 Nathan Hughes

REPLACEMENTS:16 Tom Doughty, 17 Arthur Cordwell, 18 Kieran Verden, 19 Josh Dingley, 20 Richard de Carpentier, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Max Clark, 23 Tom de Glanville

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