Darren Edwards urges Toby Faletau World Cup selection

Toby Faletau
Toby Faletau made his debut for the Dragons in 2009 against Edinburgh.

Wales coach Warren Gatland has been urged to pick Dragons back-rower Toby Faletau in his World Cup squad.

Faletau has been one of the emerging players of the season and Dragons caretaker coach Darren Edwards believes he deserves a Wales call.

The 20-year-old has yet to win his first cap despite being named in Gatland's last two squads.

"The rate he is developing is incredible and going to a World Cup would be great for him," said Edwards.

"I would like to think they would take him even for that experience.

"Toby is showing some real quality glimpses of attacking play, but also I thought from a defensive point of view he stepped up against Leinster."

Wales begin their 2011 Rugby World Cup campaign against defending champions South Africa on 11 September in their opening Pool D clash.

Faletau is the son of former Ebbw Vale and Tonga lock forward Kuli, who was part of the first wave of Pacific Islands players to make their mark in the Welsh game and featured in the 1999 World Cup at the age of 35.

Gatland is believed to be a big fan of Faletau jnr's and had been in contention for the 2010 summer tour of New Zealand, but he aggravated a foot injury playing for Wales Under-20 at the Junior World Cup in Argentina.

He was also picked for the Wales' autumn international and Six Nations squads but he has yet to win a first cap.

Edwards, who is also Wales' under-20 coach, is impressed with the quality of the Dragons back-options row despite Joe Bearman leaving at the end of the season after signing a two-year contract with the Ospreys.

Despite losing at home to Leinster on Saturday to all but end the Dragons hopes of reaching the Magners League play-offs, Edwards was delighted with the performances of back-row pair Faletau and 23-year-old Lewis Evans.

"I thought Lewis even was outstanding in his collisions," said Eedwards.

"That was a real step up for Lewis in terms performing against the top teams'.

"We've got some real special back-rowers coming through here. It's going to be a good place for these guys."

But Edwards admitted that the Dragons need to recruit in the close season to find the right balance between experience and youth.

"We are always looking for quality players but we are looking for the right type of players," said Edwards.

"Our average age is coming down and we all need to grow together. We've got to find a couple of key players that are actually going to help our players grow.

"I need an experienced player just to help their games along and give us the finished article of player we need.

"I think we have got some very talented young players here , which hopefully in two or three years' time will be a big force."

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