Newport Gwent Dragons coach Darren Edwards revealed he was always confident he would persuade Wales star Toby Faletau to commit his future to the club despite ‘worldwide interest’ in the backrower.
No.8 Faletau emerged as one of the stars of the World Cup for his rampaging runs from the back of the scrum capped by his try against South Africa.
Those performances attracted plenty of attention but Faletau along with hooker Lloyd Burns both put pen to paper on two-year contracts at Rodney Parade earlier this week.
And while Edwards is delighted to have one of rugby’s hottest prospects under lock and key, he admits the scramble for his signature was inevitable given his rising stature in the game.
“There was worldwide interest in Toby, as you would expect with a player who is now a world star,” said Edwards.
“I thought he had an amazing World Cup. Whatever you expose him to, whatever is thrown in his way, he ends up being very good.
“He showed that on the World Cup stage and became a world star.
“That’s just the nature of the character and the quality of player that he is.
“People were certainly trying to lure him away and that’s going to be the case for the rest of his career I would imagine.
“We just needed to be creative in the way we retained him.
“Our director of rugby Robert Beale has worked tremendously hard in putting together a package.
“I know the player, so I was always confident he would stay with us.
“Obviously the retention of such players has a huge bearing on our ability to function as a successful business going forward and therefore we are delighted to have secured the future of Toby and Lloyd until at least 2014.
“Everyone at the Dragons has worked extremely hard over many months to bring about the exciting changes in facilities at Rodney Parade and creating an environment that supports the professional game in Wales.”