Wales issue update on Taulupe Faletau as he continues recovery from calf injury

 Credit: Alamy

Credit: Alamy

Wales expect Taulupe Faletau to be fit for the start of the Rugby World Cup, but he may not play in any of the warm-up games

The number eight is one of their most experienced players having earned 100 caps for the national team.

Faletau was one of the notable omissions from the squad which flew to Turkey to prepare for the upcoming World Cup warm-ups.

Previous retirements

It initially raised concerns that yet another individual had announced their withdrawal from the group following the retirements of Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric.

However, Wales announced that he had a calf injury and would miss their first game against England.

“His rehab is going well so we are very hopeful he will be available for selection for the World Cup,” forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys told reporters.

Faletau is also a doubt for the next two World Cup warm-ups as they face the Red Rose in the second match of their double-header before taking on South Africa.

Although that would be a blow for the more inexperienced players who are dreaming of featuring in the global tournament, for someone like Faletau, who has plenty of credit in the bank, it is not as big of a problem.

“Hopefully he will play but I don’t think it’s something we’ll massively push if he’s not 100%,” Humphreys said. “If he doesn’t feature it’s not going to necessarily rule him out.”

Wales decided against taking Faletau or the other injured players – Johnny Williams, Joe Roberts, Owen Williams and Alex Cuthbert – to Turkey.

“He’s coming back so it was just a question of do you drag him out here to do some stuff or can he do it back home, and spend a lot more time with his family?” Humphreys added.

“So, the decision was made he can do the same rehab process back home. It’s looking positive for him.”

Options at number eight

Losing Faletau would be a blow for Wales, with him being their only specialist number eight, but Humphreys believes that players such as Aaron Wainwright and Jac Morgan can cover if required.

“We have got a few options who can play there so hopefully we will still have massive competition for that spot,” he said.

“We are covered off there at the moment.”

READ MORE: 11 timely returns from injury to make the Rugby World Cup

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