Dragons battling to keep hold of Faletau
August 1, 2013
Toby Faletau on duty for the Lions © Getty Images
The Dragons will meet with British & Irish Lions back-row Toby Faletau next week as they seek to tie down the No.8's future.
Faletau excelled for Wales last season and also put in a solid shift for the Lions come the summer where he started the third Test. But with the Welsh regions struggling to keep hold of some of their best players, with the likes of Jamie Roberts and Dan Lydiate moving to Racing Metro in the close season, the Dragons are fully aware they have a battle on their hands to keep the No.8 in Newport.
Bath were reportedly keen on the No.8's signature in the past but with Faletau still having one year left on his contract, if the West Country side pushed forward with their move for the back-rower, they would have had to pay a transfer fee for his services.
The Dragons are unlikely to be able to compete with the money on offer in England and France but new coach Lyn Jones is optimistic Faletau will want to prolong his stay with the Welsh region.
"It depends on what Toby's motivations are," Jones told Wales Online. "I met him on one occasion and he is very passionate about Gwent rugby, it was nice to hear.
"I look forward to meeting with him when he comes in next week and push things forward a bit. We have an ambition here that we can improve him. Money is important depending on where you are in your career.
"If he's intrinsically motivated and interested in money we wouldn't be able to compete with the clubs who will be in the market for him."
And Jones hopes Faletau will consider staying in Wales to boost his chances of shining at the 2015 World Cup. "It's a consideration, a big consideration for him in making sure he has a successful international career," Jones added. "One thing about staying in Wales is the regions will look after their players, which increases their chances of performing at a very high level for a long period.
"Everything comes at a price. If he goes to play in France I'm not sure if he asks his club coach for a weekend off before an international what the answer will be. His form dipped last season but he worked hard and came back strong during the Lions trip. He showed perhaps he is the best No. 8 in the British Isles at the moment."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
"The thirst for knowledge has seen coaches break away from the confines of rugby and look to America." Tom Hamilton on the two-way learning process
On Saturday, New Zealand face the USA in a match that has been 40 years in the making. Tom Hamilton finds the atmosphere building in Chicago
Most modern rugby players will not know the name Ray Williams but they should be eternally grateful to him, writes John Taylor
With the All Blacks playing the USA Eagles this weekend, Craig Dowd says rugby is ready to make a professional breakthrough Stateside