Taulupe Faletau will return to Wales next season as British and Irish Lions No 8 ponders a move to Cardiff following five-year stint at Bath 

  • Taulupe Faletau will return to Wales next season, his club Bath have confirmed 
  • Welsh No 8 is considering a move to Cardiff to see out his international career 
  • Faletau, 30, has been dogged by injuries during his time in the Premiership
  • His Bath exit will free up more than £400,000 per year for the west country club 


Taulupe Faletau will return to Wales next season, his English club Bath have confirmed.

The Welsh No 8, 30, is considering a move to Cardiff to see out his international career having left the Dragons for England in 2016.

Faletau’s stint at Bath has been dogged by injuries and while he has continued to star for Wales when fit, he failed to make the impact expected in the Premiership appearing just 64 times in five years.

Taulupe Faletau will return to Wales next season five years on from moving to Bath

Taulupe Faletau will return to Wales next season five years on from moving to Bath

As a top earner, on more than £400,000-a-year, Faletau’s exit will free up cash for the west country club. It some quarters his move has been viewed as a result of the dispute between player agents and the Premiership clubs.

English sides have refused to pay agents fees after a recent tax change from HMRC – so it now falls on players to sort funding their representatives.

If Faletau stayed in England the implications of paying his own agents fees, and the tax on top, is viewed as significant in his decision to return to Wales. Sources have indicated he may not be the first to make this decision due to the new regulations.

The Welsh No 8 is pondering a move to Cardiff to see out his international career in Wales

The Welsh No 8 is pondering a move to Cardiff to see out his international career in Wales

Confirming the news director of rugby Stuart Hooper said: ‘It continues to be a privilege to work with Taulupe; he is a world-class No.8 who makes a significant impact on the field.

‘When all are fit and well, we have a robust back row and fierce competition across all three positions. As we develop our squad for 2022 a crucial factor is the availability of our players throughout the season. Having a squad that can compete during the international calendar is becoming fundamental as the quality of competition in the Premiership increases.

‘Taulupe leaves with our blessing, and we all wish him well for his future. We will, of course, give him a brilliant send-off when the time comes; until then, our focus remains resolute on delivering a campaign we can all be proud of.’

Faletau's exit frees up more than £400,000 per year on wages as he is Bath's top earner

Faletau’s exit frees up more than £400,000 per year on wages as he is Bath’s top earner

Three-time Lion Faletau added: ‘I will leave Bath at the end of the season with fond memories, both professionally and personally, plus two Bath born sons. Bath has been a brilliant club for me over the years and I owe it a lot.

‘I feel lucky to have played with such a great group of boys and I know that Bath’s success is coming.

‘I will miss the team and everyone at the club, but my heart is set on returning to Wales and hopefully continuing my international playing ambitions. It feels like the right time for me, and my family, to return home.

‘To date, I’m disappointed to not have been able to personally contribute more but I am looking forward to giving it my all for the rest of the season in Blue, Black and White.

‘To the fans who continue to support through the highs and lows – thank you.’

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