Your rugby evening headlines on November 2.

Faletau confirms he’s coming home

Taulupe Faletau has confirmed he is returning to Wales next season following WalesOnline’s exclusive story on Monday evening.

We revealed Faletau is set to join Cardiff Rugby, with a deal close to being finalised.

And, in a statement on Tuesday, Faletau and Bath admitted a parting of ways.

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“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,” said Faletau.

“It feels like the right time for me, and my family, to return home.

“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’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.”

Faletau has made 64 appearances for Bath during his five years at the Rec.

“It continues to be a privilege to work with Taulupe; he is a world-class number eight who makes a significant impact on the field,” said Bath director of rugby Stuart Hooper.

“Taulupe leaves with our blessing, and we all wish him well for his future. We will 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 was released from the Wales squad on Tuesday evening have failed to recover from an ankle injury he picked up with Bath.

Pivac’s bombshell news

Wales have been rocked by news Alun Wyn Jones, Ross Moriarty and Faletau will miss the rest of the autumn due to injury.

Jones and Moriarty both require shoulder surgery after picking up painful-looking injuries against the All Blacks on Saturday.

Both will need to recuperate for a “number of months respectively”, the WRU said in a squad update on Tuesday night.

Willis Halaholo will rejoin the camp on Friday having done his 10 days of isolation after testing positive for Covid.

Cardiff Rugby’s Shane Lewis-Hughes and Ospreys’ Rhys Davies have been called in to the squad.

Read the full story here .

South Africa team to play Wales

South Africa have named their team to face Wales as Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber makes four changes to the side who beat the All Blacks in September.

Damian Willemse, Jesse Kriel and Herschel Jantjies, who played one game for the Scarlets in 2017, all start as the world champions kick off their autumn tour in Europe.

Willemse comes in for Willie le Roux in a rotational switch, and Jantjies takes over from Faf de Klerk who was ruled out of the squad due to a hip flexor injury.

Kriel replaces Sbu Nkosi, who is yet to travel to the UK as he awaits the necessary paperwork. Kriel hasn’t played since August and tends to line up in midfield rather than on the wing.

South Africa: Damian Willemse; Jesse Kriel, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi; Handré Pollard, Herschel Jantjies; Ox Nché, Bongi Mbonambi, Trevor Nyakane, Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager, Siya Kolisi, Kwagga Smith, Duane Vermeulen.

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Smith a doubt for England

England’s aim of starting Marcus Smith against Tonga on Saturday hangs in the balance as the Harlequins fly-half battles a leg injury.

Eddie Jones is “cautiously optimistic” that he will be able to field his intended 10-12 axis of Smith and captain Owen Farrell for the Autumn Nations Series opener at Twickenham.

But Smith’s involvement in training so far this week has been limited to ball handling only and doubt hovers over the 22-year-old’s fitness with a call due to be made on Thursday morning.

“We’re being conservative with him but we’re cautiously optimistic that he’ll be right to play,” Jones said.

“We are keen for him to be involved in the game. If we don’t get to see him this week, we will get to see him next week.

“It’s not frustrating, it’s part and parcel of preparing a team. Players pick up small knocks and he’ll recover well.”

Scotland suffer blows

Scotland have lost Rory Sutherland and Rory Darge to injury ahead of their clash with Australia on Sunday.

Uncapped Glasgow flanker Darge did not feature in Scotland’s emphatic win over Tonga on Saturday while British and Irish Lions prop Sutherland was absent as Worcester beat Sale.

Edinburgh forward Magnus Bradbury, a late call-up to the squad last week, and winger Damien Hoyland, have also dropped out after not featuring against Tonga.

Three uncapped props – Northampton’s Nick Auterac, Javan Sebastian of Scarlets and versatile Wasps forward Robin Hislop – have been added to the squad.

They had all been called up to Scotland’s squad for the ill-fated summer tour which saw all three games cancelled.

Glasgow lock Scott Cummings also comes in but is unavailable for selection following surgery on a hand injury last month.





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