Ford: Faletau’s move to Bath in the WRU’s hands

Bath coach Mike Ford says that Taulupe Faletau potential move to Bath is now
in the Welsh Rugby Union’s hands.

The twenty-four-year-old 2013 British and Irish Lion has been linked with the
west country club for some time bt it has yet to receive the final go ahead.

The final stumbling block in Faletau’s move to Bath appears to be his availability
for the Welsh national side.

“Nothing is sorted out and we won’t say anything else until he has signed.
It’s in the Welsh Rugby Union’s hands and we’ll see where that goes,” Ford
told the BBC.

Faletau is still contracted to Newport Dragons and chairman Martyn Hazell says
that he can’t see Faletau joining Bath in the immediate future while there is
an issue over his release for Wales duty.

“It’s all about release from Bath’s point of view, the Welsh Rugby Union
want full release before they can consider it,” Hazell said.

“We wouldn’t like to lose him as a team but sometimes financial things
pressurise you. But I can’t see him going to Bath now and he doesn’t want to
go anywhere else.

“When he’s out of contract (in 2016) we can’t say what he wants to do.
That’s his decision and the WRU’s decision.”

Ford said that they have not yet completed their playing roster for the upcoming
season and are still looking to sign a couple more players.

“Recruitment never stops – we are looking at other players as well for
this season. We’re nearly finished but one or two more would be good,”
Ford told BBC Radio Bristol.

Earlier this year the move to Bath looked like it dead but the WRU withdrew
its offer of a national dual contract after he missed a deadline and he now
has a year left on his contract with the Dragons.

“We are after world-class players,” said Ford who led Bath to the
Premiership final where they lost to Saracens.

“We are playing in two competitions, we’ve got a great European group,
and we are trying to create a world-class squad where we have two international
players in each position.

“We feel we need that to compete in both competitions. Will we get there
this year? Probably not, but over the next few years we hope to get that without
losing our home-grown talent.”

Wales coach Warren Gatland has a selection policy called ‘Gatland’s Law’ which
is supposed to see players based in Wales being selected ahead of players who
play abroad. However Gatland says that as Bath were chasing the Tongan born
Faletau his international career would be protected.

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