by Eileesh Buckley
The Welsh Rugby Union has refused a request from Newport Gwent Dragons to allow Welsh international Taulupe 'Toby' Faletau make a transfer to Bath Rugby.
Faletau is contracted to Dragons and the WRU until the end of this season, 2015/16, and the national authorities are refusing to allow an early departure from that commitment.
Chief Executive of WRU, Martyn Philips said: “We fully understand that the Newport Gwent Dragons have acted entirely properly in this matter, but we have a duty to act in the way we feel is in the best interests of the whole of professional rugby and the international game in Wales.
"Although there are circumstances under which moves out of Wales by experienced players can be sanctioned, Taulupe's status as a player and importance as a role model means we would like him to be playing his rugby here.
"Clearly it is vitally important that we are all mindful of the need to respect and protect Taulupe himself throughout this extremely sensitive and delicate discussion. His welfare is paramount.
"Taulupe is under contract until the end of the current season and we do not believe it is in any of our interests to withdraw from that agreement.”
Given the struggles between the national body and the professional clubs in the past, Welsh rugby fans will be hoping this does not boil over into further discord.
The statement was posted on the Welsh Rugby Union website earlier today.