Taulupe Faletau admits he is no longer guaranteed a place in Wales team
By Michael Cantillon
Last Updated: 21/02/17 10:15am
Taulupe Faletau has conceded that his place in the Wales back-row is no longer assured given the form of the other players in the squad.
Bath No 8 Faletau missed Wales' opening Six Nations clash against Italy in Rome due to a knee injury picked up in December but the 26-year-old returned to the bench against England a week later.
Faletau, who spent seven years with Newport Gwent Dragons before transferring to Bath in the summer, made his Wales debut in 2011 at the age of just 21 and has gone on to appear in 63 Tests.
In his absence, Gloucester forward Ross Moriarty has filled in at No 8 alongside Sam Warburton and Justin Tipuric on the flanks, and Faletau is under no illusions that he may not yet regain his place.
"Ross [Moriarty] is playing really well at the moment, and so are the other two," said Faletau.
"We work for each other, and whoever plays is worthy of playing. And to be honest, those three right now are playing really well.
"The boys are playing well at the moment, and it is down to the coaches to pick what team they pick.
"Although the result didn't go our way [against England], the performance was there, and everyone is looking forward to the next game.
"After losing last week, it [the title) is kind of out of our hands. We have just got to take each game as it comes. If we win our games, we are always in with a chance if somebody else slips up."
Wales next face Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday, with Faletau raring to go following his return from a second knee injury this season.
The big No 8 initially injured his knee on his Bath debut in September before suffering another blow on Christmas Eve, and his appearance in Bath's victory over Harlequins on Saturday was Faletau's first 80-minute shift of the entire season.
"I am just glad to be out there playing rugby again. It hasn't been the season for it for me. I was just glad to get 80 minutes," added Faletau.
"It has been frustrating, but injuries are part of the game, and I have got to deal with it some time. They come around for everyone, and it has just seemed to be my time."