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Bath Rugby to make a move for Toby Faletau

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: December 28, 2012

Faletau

Faletau

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TOBY Faletau is the latest big-name Wales player to figure on the radar of Europe's moneyed clubs, with Bath heading the queue for his services.

The West Country outfit are believed to have tried to tempt the Dragons with a six-figure transfer fee for one of Welsh rugby's most prized jewels.

Faletau, who is expected to face the Ospreys in the Pro12 clash at Rodney Parade on New Year's Eve, has been consistently outstanding since stepping up to the regional scene as a teenager.

While his region have struggled, he has sparkled, posing problems for opposition defences with his athleticism, work-rate and ability to crash over the gain-line.

The 22-year-old renewed his contract with the Dragons after returning from the 2011 World Cup, signing fresh terms to stay at the region until 2014.

When the deal was sealed Wales's most easterly professional set-up revealed there had been "worldwide interest" in the Tonga-born player.

His displays since have only boosted his stock further, with a number of French and English clubs on his trail, but Bath, who signed Paul James from the Ospreys in the summer, appear to have upped the ante by revealing the colour of their money.

Their apparent interest in Faletau comes amid suggestions that the Dragons could be scaled down to a development operation in the not-too-distant future.

Dan Lydiate has served notice on them that he is departing in the summer and just days ago the region's director of rugby appealed to the new Professional Regional Game Board for help over Faletau.

"Toby like Dan and any other talented young player will be targeted by other clubs that have more resource in terms of finance available," said Dragons director of rugby Robert Beale.

"You're competing against teams who have huge budgets.

"I'm not suggesting that we go to those sorts of levels, but…if regional rugby and the four regions are to compete seriously in Europe then we need to increase levels of funding from wherever avenue they may come."

MARK ORDERS

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  • Richboystoy  |  December 28 2012, 5:46PM

    Agreed on Brownsword. But the club no longer has a culture. It's just a group of players. I don't think Tigers are ALL about money. Most of their players were not bought in as superstars. Tigers develop their own players - generally - or find unknowns Mafi, Parling etc. They won't win everything now - but they have a discernible culture....Is Exeter built on money? Obvious example Quins. How many big names have Quins bought in, in the last seven/eight years? Kingston the real Head Coach has been there over a decade. It isn't ALL about money. But money counts

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  • JohnnoW  |  December 28 2012, 3:57PM

    Oh of course because under Brownsword it was SO much more successful and won lots of trophies like the er... mighty European Challenge Cup and the... thats it. Face it, if Bath's glory years had been during the professional era, then it would have had to shell out hugely to keep the like of Guscott etc at the club. It a different world and you have to have the cash to compete. How the hell the do you think Saracens do it? Its money.

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  • Richboystoy  |  December 28 2012, 3:21PM

    A once great club lost its way when it ignored the stench from within three/four years ago, and instead tried to buy success by way of McGeechan, Tigers winning culture, world cup winners from the southern hemisphere. Now Welsh stars, maybe Cole, Farrell when contracts come up for renewal. A rich mans toy.

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