MX23RW : Tuesday, November 13 01:12:06

Warren Gatland puts Toby Faletau's Bath Rugby move in doubt

Wales head coach Warren Gatland admits that he may be forced to leave Toby Faletau out of his squad if the Newport Gwent Dragons ace opts to join Bath Rugby.

Warren Gatland has stressed that he wants Toby Faletau to continue plying his club trade in Wales.

Bath Rugby have shown an interest in signing the 24-year-old, who is currently under contract with the Newport Gwent Dragons.

Due to the terms of the Rugby Services Agreement between the Welsh Rugby Union and local regions, any move for Faletau would force Gatland to exercise special dispensation to select him in his Rugby World Cup squad.

"Given that Wales has such a small playing base with just four teams, we definitely want to keep our players in Wales," he told Sky Sports News.

"I have dispensation to pick a couple of players playing outside of Wales. For this year it is two and if Toby Faletau goes to Bath then he will be regarded as a non-qualified Welsh player and I can only pick two of those players.

"At the moment, Jamie Roberts is gone to Harlequins and Rhys Priestland is gone to Bath. If Faletau goes to Bath as well that will be three and I can only pick two of those after the World Cup. So I'd be limiting myself and why would I want to do that? Unless something changes, hopefully he will be staying in Wales."

Faletau has a year left on his current Dragons deal.


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Wales centre Jamie Roberts in action during Wales training ahead of their RBS Six Nations match against Italy on saturday, at the Vale hotel on January 28, 2014
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