Wales allowed to pick Faletau for Bok Test

Taulupe Faletau (Getty Images)
Taulupe Faletau (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Wales loose forward Taulupe Faletau has been released by his English club Bath to play against South Africa in Cardiff on Saturday.

READ: Bok starting role for Gelant in Cardiff?

Confusion had surrounded the availability of several of Wales' stars ahead of the match against the Springboks at the Principality Stadium.

The match falls outside World Rugby’s Test window which means players plying their trade outside of their home countries do not have to be released by their clubs.

It was unclear whether Faletau (Bath), utility back Owen Williams (Gloucester), prop Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs), flyhalf Rhys Priestland (Bath) and centre Jamie Roberts (Harlequins) would be released by their English clubs to play against the Boks.

The policy of Premiership Rugby - the umbrella organisation which represents the country’s top 12 clubs - is to not allow release of non-England players for Tests outside the window.

However according to the Wales Online website, Faletau's employers at Bath have released a statement saying the player will be allowed to represent Wales, despite them now running the risk of a hefty fine, or the unlikely sanction of points deduction from Premiership Rugby.

Faletau reportedly turned down a financial incentive from Bath not to play against the Springboks in Cardiff after having a full release clause written into his contract two seasons ago that he was always available to play for Wales.

It has since emerged that Williams, Francis and Priestland have returned to their English clubs and appear unlikely to face the Boks, while it remains unclear what the situation is with Roberts.

On the Springboks side, flank Francois Louw (Bath, England), No 8 Duane Vermeulen (Toulon, France) and lock Franco Mostert (Ricoh Black Rams, Japan) will not be available for Saturday’s Test.

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