Taulupe Faletau's future remains 'uncertain' at Dragons

Taulupe Faletau
Taulupe Faletau has played all his senior regional rugby for the Dragons

Taulupe Faletau's future with Newport Gwent Dragons remains in doubt, director of rugby Lyn Jones has said.

The 24-year-old Wales number eight has consistently been linked with a move to English Premiership side Bath.

Wales coach Warren Gatland has said he would not sanction such a transfer as it would potentially make Faletau unavailable for the national side.

"There is uncertainty and we will see over the next week," said Jones when asked whether Faletau is staying.

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Faletau had seemed set to join Bath, and the Dragons board are still believed to be willing to sell the British and Irish Lions forward for a six-figure fee given his limited availability because of international commitments.

But because Faletau has a year left on his current Dragons contract and is a Wales player, the Rugby Services Agreement [RSA] - the wide-ranging agreement between the Welsh Rugby Union and the four Welsh regions - stipulates that Gatland would need to approve such a transfer.

Under the RSA, Gatland can select only two players who have moved to play outside Wales since the agreement came into force in August. Centre Jamie Roberts and fly-half Rhys Priestland, who have joined Harlequins and Bath respectively, are two such players.

Faletau's involvement with Wales at the World Cup had put questions about his future to one side, but the focus has now returned, especially given the number eight's impressive performances.

But when asked if talks were on-going about where Faletau would be playing, Jones said: "I don't know. No comment."

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Jones also revealed he was unsure whether the influential figure would be available to play in the Dragons' European Challenge Cup campaign, starting against Sale Sharks on 15 November, but agreed it was important to have him back soon to reassure fans he had a future at Rodney Parade.

"I hope he is," he said "I've got my money on it but I don't know what to say on the issue.

"He had an outstanding World Cup for Wales. Apart from playing for a lot of time, he played to a high standard.

"We're not communicating with him at the moment, we're just letting him relax and enjoy himself on his time off.

"Mental burnout for these players is massive - that's probably the biggest area of recovery rather than physical."

In May, the WRU withdrew its offer of a national dual contract to Faletau after he missed a deadline to sign.