Newport Gwent Dragons: Taulupe Faletau to face Scarlets

By Nick WebbBBC Sport Wales
Taulupe Faletau (left) takes on John Barclay
Taulupe Faletau (left) has won 52 caps for Wales, scoring four tries

Taulupe Faletau is set to play for Dragons against Scarlets on Friday after his proposed transfer to Bath was blocked by the Welsh Rugby Union.

The Wales number eight's contract expires at the end of the season.

Dragons will not try to force the sale through against the wishes of the WRU.

"His immediate response to the decision has been a very positive one in terms of getting on with business as usual," said Dragons chief executive Stuart Davies.

"We all know how he's conducted himself on a national and regional stage up until now.

"I don't expect that to change, and he will be included in the match day squad for Friday."

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Faletau is out of contract next May and the British and Irish Lions player could leave for free next summer if he does not agree a new deal.

Had his move to Bath been sanctioned, Dragons would have received a six-figure compensation payment from the English Premiership side as well as saving on his salary in a season when he would spend long periods on international duty.

But national head coach Warren Gatland was entitled to block the move under the terms of the Rugby Services Agreement between the WRU and the regions, even though he could still have picked Faletau as a wildcard option.

"We have been very mindful of acting within the provisions of the Rugby Service Agreement," added Davies.

"The RSA recognises if the national coach doesn't give his permission for a player's release while he is in contract, should we choose to release him anyway we would be in breach of the agreement and there may be possible sanctions as a result.

"That's not an option that I would hope to entertain. Ultimately yes it's an option on the table, but it's not one we are keen on."

Faletau did not accept the offer of a national dual contract early in 2015 and it was subsequently withdrawn.

The latest developments could lead to a renewal of that offer if he wants to stay in Wales, or he could leave for England next summer once he is a free agent.

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