Taulupe Faletau’s Wales Moonlighting Brings Shadow Of Fine For Bath

Taulupe Faletau’s club Bath are set to be hit with a fine for allowing the Wales No.8 to play against South Africa.

The Lions forward was granted release by the club even though the match fell outside of the World Rugby approved international window.

Faletau has a clause in his contract with Bath that provides him with release for all Wales matches, even if the club are playing on the same weekend – as was the case last Saturday.

Premiership Rugby have an agreed policy not to release players to any nation for games outside the window – unless they can agree compensation packages as they have done in the past with the RFU.

The body that represents English clubs have confirmed they have charged Bath with allegedly breaching the approved policies.

A Premiership Rugby statement read: “Premiership Rugby confirms that Bath Rugby have today been charged with allegedly breaching Premiership Rugby approved policies.

“The allegation relates to the Premiership Rugby Board policy around international duty and specifically Taulupe Faletau being released outside the periods specified in World Rugby Regulation 9.

“Bath Rugby have seven days to respond to the allegation and once that time has passed Premiership Rugby will issue a further update. Premiership Rugby will make no further comment until that time.”

The most likely outcome for Bath is a fine, although it may not be as large as the £60,000 punishment given to Northampton for releasing George North for unofficial Tests in 2013. That fine was for a series of matches, rather than a single Test.

Bath director of rugby Todd Blackadder said last week that he was anticipating action would be taken against the club.

The New Zealander said: “It’s something we agreed to. We stand by that.

“It’s another good reason to get the international windows right. They will probably enforce some kind of penalty. Those are the things we’ll have to live with.”


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