Tuesday 6 December 2016

Faletau to return

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Published 24/11/2016 | 02:30

Faletau suffered a knee ligament injury on his Bath debut against Aviva Premiership opponents Northampton in early September. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
Faletau suffered a knee ligament injury on his Bath debut against Aviva Premiership opponents Northampton in early September. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

Taulupe Faletau looks set to make a Test match return for Wales on Saturday, despite playing less than an hour of competitive rugby in 12 weeks.

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The Bath No 8 appears on course to be involved when Wales complete their autumn series by tackling South Africa in Cardiff.

Faletau suffered a knee ligament injury on his Bath debut against Northampton in early September. He was sidelined until last Friday's appointment with Bristol, when he featured for 55 minutes, which meant him missing Wales' November appointments with Australia, Argentina and Japan.

But the 26-year-old could even start against the Springboks, which would probably mean Gloucester's in-form Ross Moriarty switching to blindside flanker.

England, meanwhile, say the decision to drop Semesa Rokoduguni for Saturday's clash with Argentina is based on the desire to restore Jonny May to the starting XV.

Rokoduguni's Bath team-mates Matt Banahan and Matt Garvey have expressed their surprise after the wing was axed despite scoring two tries in Saturday's 58-15 victory over Fiji.

It is the second time in his two caps that Rokoduguni has been axed immediately after making a Test appearance, the first taking place after defeat by New Zealand in 2014, seemingly on the grounds of stage fright.

Eddie Jones spoke of the need to handle the 29-year-old with care because of the treatment he received at the hands of Stuart Lancaster's regime, only to now discard him.

May will replace Rokoduguni on the right wing, while Elliot Daly wins a second opportunity on the left wing.

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