Faletau 'unfazed' by transfer speculation
January 4, 2013
Toby Faletau's signature is in demand © Getty Images
Wales No.8 Faletau has been heavily linked with a big money move to Aviva Premiership side Bath despite his contract having another year to run. Bath have reportedly tabled a six-figure transfer offer for Faletau's services but the Dragons are adamant that their star back-rower is not for sale.
If Faletau, who has 21 caps for Wales, decides to leave then it would be a massive blow for a Dragons side that have already seen the likes of Dan Lydiate, Aled Brew and Luke Charteris opt to play elsewhere. But Appleyard has praised Faletau for his continued professionalism amid all the discussions and rumours concerning where he will play next year.
"I don't think it's fazing him," Applyard told Wales Online. "Toby turns up and trains as hard as anybody, whether he's just come back from an international campaign or whether he's been with us for a few weeks. He's a one-off character without a shadow of a doubt. He's a really good rugby player.
"We can talk about a new line-up set-up, which he's never heard of before and he goes in and delivers it having heard it just once. So he's a very coachable player and listens a lot. But one thing that's on my mind is we wouldn't want to overcoach him so he loses his X-factor. It's almost the way he runs he doesn't care. He runs as though he doesn't even know people are trying to tackle him sometimes. He just seems to run and beat people."
And Appleyard is adamant that the Dragons want to keep Faletau at the region. He added: "We want Toby to stay. We understand it's not always that easy. If you are being offered double or treble your wages, would you take it to move to the south of France? I am sure most people would contemplate it.
"Obviously we want to keep Toby with us. He has got another season with us. It's out of my remit, but I'm sure talks are going on behind the scenes to retain Toby's services. But, at the end of the day, it comes down to what the individual wants to do."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The controversial tackling technique will be in full swing in Dublin on Sunday, writes Conor O'Shea, and could be a decisive factor for Ireland
"This team deserves to be recognised as the greatest of all time." Huw Richards looks at Gareth Edwards' final match for Wales
The two leading contenders for the best modern open-side flanker go head to head in Paris on Saturday. John Taylor assesses the tale of the tape