Six Nations 2022: Taulupe Faletau set for Wales recall ahead of England clash
Taulupe Faletau is believed to be set for a Guinness Six Nations call-up as Wales prepare for Twickenham’s clash with England next Saturday.
Faletau underlined his fitness by playing the whole game in Bath’s 24-20 Gallagher Premiership loss to leaders Leicester.
It followed an hour-long comeback against Wasps the week before after seven months out with an ankle injury.
The Bath backline striker won the last of his 86 Wales caps almost a year ago but looks set for an international return ahead of the remaining Six Nations appointments with England, France and Italy.
Wales head coach Wayne Pivac is currently without fellow Faletau British and Irish Lions Alun Wyn Jones, George North, Ken Owens and Justin Tipuric through injuries.
So Faletau potentially getting back into the selection picture is a major boost for the reigning Six Nations champions, who reignited their title challenge with a win over Scotland last time out.
Ahead of the Wasps game, Faletau had been sidelined since coming on as a substitute in the Lions’ second Test against South Africa in Cape Town last summer.
“It was a rolled ankle, and I probably ran too soon and just had issues with my calves for two straight weeks which ended up being seven months,” he said.
“It was two weeks in a row for a long time, then I would come to the end of those two weeks, run again and it sounded again. It was basically that the whole time.
“I just like hanging out there, whether it’s Bath or Wales. Either way, I just want to enjoy the games because seven months away was no fun.
If Faletau is added to the Test squad, he would potentially have a chance of being involved at Twickenham, where Wales have not won a Six Nations for 10 years.
“He (Pivac) has been in contact just to see how I’m doing and if I’m playing or not,” added Faletau.
“I feel like I needed a few games, and I got some. It’s up to them. If they call me, obviously I won’t say no. We’ll find out soon, I guess.
Bath are ready to lose Faletau at some point during the Six Nations, with head coach Neal Hatley in no doubt about their preparedness.
“He’s like a chameleon,” Hatley said. “You take it to the next level and it just blends in.
“He has this innate ability that regardless of the quality of the players he’s playing with, he’s the best player on the pitch and he’s been doing that for ages.
“I’m going to turn off my phone and if I see that Wayne Pivac Welsh number we won’t answer!” We want to keep him, but I imagine at some point he will get a call.