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Wales star Taulupe Faletau ‘in talks to leave Bath’ for stunning Cardiff move

Premiership outfit Bath have endured a nightmarish start to the 2021/22 season, and news of Faletau’s potential return to Wales next year couldn’t be timed much worse

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Taulupe Faletau could become the latest major Welsh export to return to the regions following news the Bath talisman is in talks to join Cardiff at the end of this season.

Wales star Faletau—who will turn 31 this month—left the Dragons to join West Country club Bath in 2016 and has been selected for two of his three tours with the British and Irish Lions since then.

Cardiff coach Dai Young has already succeeded in luring his son, Wasps flanker Thomas, to the Arms Park next summer, and fellow Wales back-rower Faletau could be poised to follow.

His capture would be a significant coup not only for Cardiff but Wales’ national team, who could benefit from greater access to one of their most prized assets.



Bath could be set to lose Taulupe Faletau amid reports he’s ‘in talks’ to join Cardiff in 2022
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David Rogers/Getty Images)




Faletau is yet to feature for Bath this season due to an ankle injury, but he would have been one of the numerous Premiership -based talents ineligible to feature in Saturday’s 54-16 defeat to New Zealand.

A return to one of the four Welsh regions would make the No. 8 available for future call-ups outside World Rugby’s international Test windows.

Rhys Priestland made his own move to the Welsh capital from The Rec earlier this year and earned his first Wales cap in almost four years as a substitute during the recent defeat to the All Blacks.

Do you think Taulupe Faletau is the best Welsh player based in the Premiership? Let us know in the comments section.



Liam Williams returned to Wales in 2020 whe he re-joined Scarlets from Saracens
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That came after the likes of Liam Williams, George North, Josh Adams, Alex Cuthbert and Ross Moriarty have each moved back to Wales from Premiership clubs in recent years.

Faletau has been held back injury problems and made only one cameo appearance during the recent Lions tour in South Africa, but he remains one of the northern hemisphere’s most respected players in his position.

Young, 29, is set to reinforce a back-row contingent at Cardiff that already comprises Wales team-mates Josh Navidi, Ellis Jenkins, captain Josh Turnbull and rising talent James Botham, grandson of English cricket legend Ian.



Taulupe Faletau has featured on the last three British and Irish Lions tours
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Image:

David Rogers/Getty Images)




However, Lions tourist Navidi is expected to miss the 2022 Six Nations after hurting his shoulder, while flanker Jenkins only returned from a two-year absence earlier in 2021 following a string of knee problems.

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac would stand to benefit if Faletau were more available for Test fixtures in future, with the Tonga-born star closing in on a century of caps for his country.

Bath are currently bottom of the Premiership after failing to win any of their first six games this season, while Cardiff have won three of their first five matches in the inaugural United Rugby Championship.


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