Faletau move won’t hurt Wales

Date published: June 25 2015

Warren Gatland has stated that a potential move for Taulupe Faletau to Bath won't hurt his career with Wales.

Faletau has been linked repeatedly with a move to Bath in recent days with his future with Newport Gwent Dragons up in the air.

The British and Irish Lions number eight is entering the final year of his contract with the Welsh region and the Dragons are reportedly open to accepting a transfer fee for Faletau rather than letting him leave for nothing at the end of the season.

Gatland hinted that Faletau would strike a similar deal to Jamie Roberts with Harlequins and George North at Northampton, where he would be released for all Wales training camps and Test matches.

"We're discussing it (Faletau's situation) at the moment with the Dragons, the regions and Bath," Gatland said on Wednesday.

"Toby's got the biggest choice to make, that's on-going and hopefully that gets sorted out in the next week. There is potential there for Toby to move, that's up to him, but he wouldn't be hampered by that.

"There are exceptions in the policy and one of them with a country as small as Wales is that we have to look at the financial considerations.

"The regions argued for financial reasons that a player could be released from his contract and that's what has happened in this situation.

"When clubs come looking for Toby and offer a significant transfer fee then it's a business decision for one of our regions to potentially sell that player on, because they are struggling financially.

"So if Toby does leave he would be protected. He would be one of the players on that quota list because someone's come looking for him and it's not his decision to go.

"My understanding is that he would do the same as Jamie Roberts. If he didn't have full release we wouldn't be considering releasing him. Why would you do that?

"I don't think he's that keen on going to any other region, but maybe he would see an opportunity to go across the water (River Severn) as a good challenge for him.

"He's given some excellent service to the Dragons and I'll speak to him and his father about it."