Taulupe Faletau 'would benefit' from Bath move, says Ryan Jones

By Owen RawlingsBBC Sport Wales
Taulupe Faletau
Newport Gwent Dragons number eight Taulupe Faletau (left) made his Wales debut in 2011

Former Wales captain Ryan Jones says Taulupe Faletau's proposed move to Bath could help develop his game further should it happen.

But Jones concedes it would be "a blow" for Newport Gwent Dragons if former British and Irish Lions number eight Faletau leaves.

Dragons are reported to want as much as £250,000 for Faletau, 24, who has a year left on his contract.

"It would benefit his rugby," said three-time Grand Slam winner Jones.

Jones added that experience of the European Rugby Champions Cup with Bath would be invaluable to Faletau and Wales.

"He's going to be playing for a top-flight English club in the top competitions in Europe, which is what we need for our players," said Jones.

"They need that exposure and they need that experience and that helps make them better players."

Taulupe Faletau
Taulupe Faletau played in the third Test for the British Lions in their victorious tour of Australia in 2013

Tongan-born number eight Faletau had his offer of a national dual-contract withdrawn by the Welsh Rugby Union in May.

But Wales coach Warren Gatland has said a move to Bath would not hurt Faletau's international prospects.

It is possible Faletau, capped 45 times by Wales, will join Bath after this autumn's World Cup, though Cardiff Blues are awaiting a reply from the player's agent after making an offer.

Dragons finished eighth in the Pro12 in 2014-15 and fellow back-rower Jones, who plays for English Championship side Bristol, says the move may not be so good for the Gwent side.

"Wales needs its best players playing rugby in Wales," he said, "but to do that we have got to offer them the opportunity to play in the upper echelons of the game.

"We've got to be competitive on the European stage, the biggest club competition we've got.

"But the sporting world is transient, players will come and go.

"They need to look after themselves and their personal circumstances will dictate that as well."

Former Wales lock Andy Moore believes the national side could benefit if Faletau's move does happen.

"Wales might see some long-term benefit," said Moore.

"He'll be playing at a higher level so his performances could increase and have a knock-on effect for the Welsh team.

"It would be a good move for him in terms of his career development."

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