Newport Gwent Dragons 'keen' to keep Taulupe Faletau

Taulupe Faletau, Wales
Taulupe Faletau has won 45 caps for Wales and played for the British and Irish Lions in their 2013 series win over Australia

Newport Gwent Dragons chief executive Stuart Davies says the region is "extremely keen" to keep Wales number eight Taulupe Faletau at Rodney Parade.

Faletau, 24, still has a year to run on his current contract with the region, but was not among the recent raft of Wales stars to sign a national dual contracts.

Davies says he hopes Faletau's future can be sorted out soon.

"We're extremely keen to keep him," he said.

"I'm not clear as to why Toby's been unable to sign up, the union have been leading on that obviously, but it would be my hope that in time that could still come through.

"It's my understanding that he's very happy at the Dragons and the reason he hasn't signed is nothing to do with any issue within the Dragons.

"I can assure Dragons fans he's not someone we want to lose."

Faletau, who has won 45 Wales caps, was the only Dragons player to take the field for Wales during the 2015 Six Nations.

Eddie Butler looks back at Wales' 2015 Six Nations campaign.

Youngsters Hallam Amos and Tyler Morgan, who did not feature in match day squads for Wales, are the only Dragons so far on dual deals.

Faletau has been linked with interest from Bath in the past and former Wales number eight Davies thinks such speculation is only natural.

"I'm not surprised there's been interest from Bath or any other leading club, such is the quality of Toby," said former Wales number eight Davies.

"He's a name known across the rugby world."

Former Wales forward Gareth Llewellyn says the only way Faletau will stay is if the Welsh Rugby Union offer the Tongan-born back back rower a dual contract.

"I think that's his only chance of staying in Wales is a dual contract," said Llewellyn.

"It depends on Toby's ambition at club level. Is what he's achieved and what he could achieve with Wales enough to fulfil his ambition?

"Or does he want to be challenging in the European Cup? If he does he may have to look elsewhere and he may want to look for a challenge outside of Wales and outside of the Pro12."

The region have not yet revealed whether Faletau will be risked in the Pro12 game away against Treviso on Saturday, just a week before the European Challenge Cup quarter-final against Cardiff Blues on 4 April.

Captain Lee Byrne looks unlikely to feature against the Blues despite being registered in the European squad this week.

Director of rugby Lyn Jones admits he's "plateaued" in his recovery from a shoulder injury, and it seems his inclusion is more with an eye to a potential semi-final or final appearance.

Dual-contracted centre Morgan, has recovered full fitness after a knee injury which prevented him from playing in the Under-20s Six Nations or challenging for a place in the senior match day squad.