Bath Rugby can today confirm that Taulupe Faletau will be leaving the club at the end of the current season for an unnamed Welsh side.
The No.8 has his sights set on the 2023 World Cup and will return to the Welsh region in order to put himself in the best possible position to perform for his country.
Throughout his five-year tenure, Faletau has appeared 64 times for the Blue, Black and Whites and become a household name on the international stage.
“It continues to be a privilege to work with Taulupe; he is a world-class No.8 who makes a significant impact on the field, said Stuart Hooper, Director of Rugby.
“When all are fit and well, we have a robust back row and fierce competition across all three positions. As we develop our squad for 2022 a crucial factor is the availability of our players throughout the season. Having a squad that can compete during the international calendar is becoming fundamental as the quality of competition in the Premiership increases.
“Taulupe leaves with our blessing, and we all wish him well for his future. We will, of course, give him a brilliant send-off when the time comes; until then, our focus remains resolute on delivering a campaign we can all be proud of.”
The three-time British and Irish Lion capped 86 times by Wales had this to say; “I will leave Bath at the end of the season with fond memories, both professionally and personally, plus two Bath born sons. Bath has been a brilliant club for me over the years and I owe it a lot.
“I feel lucky to have played with such a great group of boys and I know that Bath’s success is coming.
“I will miss the team and everyone at the club, but my heart is set on returning to Wales and hopefully continuing my international playing ambitions. It feels like the right time for me, and my family, to return home.
“To date, I’m disappointed to not have been able to personally contribute more but I am looking forward to giving it my all for the rest of the season in Blue, Black and White.
“To the fans who continue to support through the highs and lows - thank you.”