Bath Rugby can today confirm that Wales and British and Irish Lions back row Taulupe Faletau will join the Club next season.
The 24-year-old will join from Newport Gwent Dragons, the Welsh region for whom he made his professional debut in 2009. In 2011, he became the first Pacific Islander to play for Wales, having moved there from Tonga at the age of seven. He has since made 52 international appearances, during which time he has reached a Rugby World Cup semi-final and quarter-final, won three Six Nations Championship titles (including two Grand Slams) and a British and Irish Lions Test Series victory in Australia.
Faletau spent part of his education at Filton College, where he was spotted by Dragons as part of the Bristol Academy of Sport. One of the most exciting back row players in the world game, Faletau starred for Wales throughout their impressive 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign.
“The way Bath approach the game suits my style of play, which was a big factor in me wanting to join,” said Faletau. “The opportunity to work with Darren [Edwards, Bath Rugby First Team Coach] again after doing so with Wales U20 and the Dragons was also too good to turn down. I’d like to thank Dragons for everything they’ve done for me in my career.”
Bath Rugby Head Coach Mike Ford said: “When we talk about this club being ambitious, we’re not just paying lip service: signing a player of Taulupe’s calibre is evidence of that. He is a world-class player who never takes a backwards step and he will add competition to an equally fantastic back row. We’re continuing to build a formidable squad that will challenge for silverware for years to come.”
Follow Bath Rugby Inside Out on twitter @BathRugbyINOUT
Bath Rugby Inside Out Facebook page can be found here