Taulupe Faletau: Dragons could be 'draining' - Robin McBryde

Taulupe Faletau
Tonga-born Taulupe Faletau has made 52 Wales appearances
European Challenge Cup: Pau v Dragons
Venue: Stade du Hameau, Pau Date: Saturday, 19 December Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Coverage: Live on the BBC Sport website plus score updates online

Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde says Bath-bound Taulupe Faletau may find playing at Newport Gwent Dragons "draining".

The Wales number eight, 25, has played for Dragons - often Wales' lowest-ranked region - throughout his career.

McBryde said Faletau has "been very loyal to the Dragons".

"He's there week-in, week-out, really rallying the troops and I suppose that could be draining for Toby," added McBryde.

Warren Gatland and Robin McBryde
Robin McBryde (R) was Wales caretaker coach on tour to USA in 2009 while Warren Gatland was with the Lions in South Africa

"But to share the burden a little bit and to go to Bath and to be with players, international class players with regards to learning and having different experiences, you could see it from his personal development point of view."

Former Wales and British and Irish Lions hooker McBryde had hoped Faletau would remain in Wales instead of opting to play in the Aviva Premiership.

Wales coach Warren Gatland wants all the nation's leading players to play for domestic teams.

But former Llanelli and Scarlets player McBryde can understand why Faletau made the move and hopes he benefits from the move on and off the field.

"It's a hard one, isn't it? Personally just looking at it from the outside without knowing the details of what's gone on you can understand," McBryde told BBC Radio Wales.

"And without being disrespectful to the Dragons, he's possibly going to a club with more established players with a club that has got huge ambitions, not only domestically in the Aviva, but also in Europe. It's great for him.

More from BBC Wales Sport
Montpellier 23-22 Cardiff Blues
Lydiate hopes Halfpenny returns
Evans to miss Rio after turning pro

"However, from a Welsh point of view we want to try to retain as many of those top players as possible in order to be successful at regional level and to get the supporters coming on a week-in, week-out basis."

McBryde believes Bath will provide a platform on which Faletau will flourish.

"He's going to a good environment with regards to the ambition that Bath has etc and the coaching set up," said McBryde.

"I think without doubt Toby will benefit from it.

"It's just unfortunate for the Welsh fans that he's not going to be representing one of the regions."

McBryde is contracted with Wales until after their June 2016 tour to New Zealand and is in talks about remaining part of Gatland's coaching team.