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Double delight for Faletau

Guinness PRO12 Editor

10 May 2011


Toby Faletau has two major reasons to celebrate at the end of his second season of professional rugby.

The Dragons back row was named in the Wales squad to face the Barbarians on June 4, shortly before being announced as the Magners League Young Player of the Season.

Faletau picked up the prestigious award at an end-of-season dinner in Dublin on Sunday night, with the list of winners made public 24 hours later.

In the gap between the dinner and the announcement, the 20-year-old earned a place in Warren Gatland’s 26-man squad for the World Cup warm up with the Babaas in Cardiff as he looks to win his first international cap.

The former Cross Keys youngster has enjoyed a remarkable rise to prominence this term, receiving rave reviews in his 13 Magners League and four Heineken Cup appearances in 2010/11.

A superb solo try against the Ospreys in late October saw him catapulted towards international recognition as Gatland named the ex Bristol Academy of Sport star in his Wales squads for the autumn Tests and the RBS 6 Nations.

And with his club commitments now over for this season, Faletau knows game time against the Barbarians would be the perfect way to cap an incredible few months.

“Getting on the field is the next step now, hopefully. Maybe against the Baa-Baas,” said Faletau.

“It would be great to play for Wales and a good opportunity against some good players in the Baa-Baas team.

“It was a good experience to be involved in the autumn internationals. I didn’t actually get on the park, but it was valuable experience.

“The season has gone well. I didn’t really set myself any targets at the start.

“It was just a case of if I got the chance, to have a go and just take it from there. I’ve been lucky to play with a bunch of good boys, which has helped me along.

“There is a great bunch of boys down there at the Dragons. We work well together and a have a laugh together. I reckon it shows on the pitch. The boys are expressing themselves and the results are coming.”