Originally born in Tonga, Faletau moved to Wales with his father, Tongan international Kuli Faletau, in 1998 as a 7 year old boy. Christened Talupe,
Faletau broke onto the international stage at the 2011 Rugby World Cup with some stellar performances which earned him widespread praise amongst critics who initially claimed the Newport-Gwent Dragon was too inexperienced.
His dynamic ball carrying and offensive defence has seen him establish himself as Wales' frontline number 8. On the back of Wales' grand slam season in 2013, Faletau was included in the Lions touring party. Few could argue that Faletau had been the form 8 in the Northern Hemisphere for months leading up to the tour. His carrying in open field was been outstanding and this, allied with a steeliness in defence, saw the giant Welsh back-rower selected to start the third and final test against the Australians.
He has played 97 matches for the Newport Gwent Dragons and has earned 48 caps for Wales, scoring 20 points in the process. The big No. 8 was called up to represent his country once again for the 2015 RWC.
In December 2015, Bath announced they had signed Faletau after a long pursuit which lasted months.
The British and Irish Lion moved to the West Country from Newport Gwent Dragons, the Welsh region for whom he made his professional debut in 2009.
Faletau missed three of Wales' autumn Tests this season after suffering a knee injury on his Aviva Premiership debut two months earlier. He was laid low by a knee problem picked up during Bath's game against Wasps on Christmas Eve, putting a question mark over his early Six Nations prospects.
In April 2017, Faletau was selected for his second British & Irish Lions tour and at the time of selection, has 66 Welsh caps and 7 Lions caps (1 test.).
Faletau started all three of the Lions test matches against the All Blacks and all 4 of Wales November Tests.
In January he was named in Wales 6 Nations squad but will miss the opening two fixtures through injury, he enters the competition having already featured in 70 Test matches for Wales.
As of the 2018/2019 Champions Cup, Faletau has had 39 European Cups appearances scoring 7 tries and 25 points.
JW January 18
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