Taulupe Faletau: Bath still keen to sign Dragons and Wales forward
Last updated on .From the section Rugby Union
Bath have not given up hope of signing Wales back-row Taulupe Faletau, says head coach Mike Ford.
The transfer of the British and Irish Lions number eight, 24, was vetoed by Wales coach Warren Gatland.
Faletau is out of contract at the end of the season, with Newport Gwent Dragons coach Lyn Jones claiming the player has had "his head turned" by Bath, who have not given up.
"If he's available next summer - which he is - then we'll look," Ford said.
"It's disappointing, but Warren and the Welsh Rugby Union have got every right to keep him there.
"I don't get involved in the politics of that but he's gone now, unfortunately for him, for us and for Dragons."
Faletau would be free to move in the summer of 2016 unless he signs a new Welsh deal before then.
He did not accept the offer of a national dual contract early in 2015 and it was subsequently withdrawn.
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Under the funding agreement for Welsh domestic rugby, called the Rugby Services Agreement (RSA), Gatland has to sanction international players moving outside Wales if they are already under contract to a Welsh region.
The terms of the agreement stipulate that only two players can be selected for the national squad who play for clubs outside Wales. The ruling applies only to players who move or negotiate new contracts after the signing of the RSA in August 2014.
Faletau's 'head turned'
Dragons director of rugby Lyn Jones believes outside forces have unsettled Faletau, who was one of Wales' best players at the World Cup.
"Toby's had his head turned this season and it's been a difficult time for everybody," Jones said.
"We're all keen to move forward and look forward to the rest of the season."