5 things you need to know about new Bath signing Taulupe Faletau
Bath have continued to strengthen their squad, with 24-year-old Wales international Taulupe Faletau confirming he will join the Aviva Premiership side for the 2015/16 season.
So what should Bath fans make of the deal? Here’s five things you need to know about the man…
1. Faletau is a six-foot-two-inch, 110 kg relentless back-rower.
2. He was born in Tofoa, which is the main island in Tonga to Tongan international Kuli Faletau, who represented his country at the 1999 Rugby World Cup. Kuli moved to Wales in 1998 to join Ebbw Vale, taking a seven-year-old Taulupe with him.
3. As a young boy, his school friends struggled to pronounce his Tongan name, and so he picked up the nickname Toby. In recent years, he has requested that his rugby squad name is recorded more accurately as Taulupe, but does not mind being called Toby.
4. Faletau earned his first Wales cap against the Barbarians in their end of season game in 2011. He then pushed on from there to be included in the Welsh reckoning for the 2011 World Cup. He has since been an ever-present in the Wales squad, winning 52 caps, while playing a crucial role in Warren Gatland’s men winning the 2012 and 2013 Six Nations with the first being a Grand Slam triumph.
5. During the British and Irish Lions tour of Australia in 2013, the strong number 8 struggled to displace Jamie Heaslip, however, did come into play in the decisive final Test as the Lions claimed a outstanding 41-16 success to clinch the 2-1 series victory.
Will he prove to be the man that takes Bath to the next level? Only time will tell.