London - Wales have released Taulupe Faletau to English
Premiership side Bath for their west country derby against Bristol on Friday in
the hope of having him fit to face South Africa in their final November
Backrow forward Faletau has been sidelined since injuring
his knee on club duty in September and has missed both of Wales's opening
November internationals in Cardiff, with a 32-8 defeat by Australia followed by
last weekend's narrow 24-20 win over Argentina.
By playing for Bath on Friday, Faletau will rule himself out
of Wales's match against Japan on Saturday.
But if the No 8 comes through that match at Bath's
Recreation Ground unscathed, he could be in line to feature for Wales against
South Africa when they complete their end-of-year series the following weekend.
Faletau is set to rejoin the Wales squad on Monday and
interim head coach Rob Howley said: "Taulupe has progressed excellently
with his recovery and he has been released back to Bath this week to prepare
for their game against Bristol on Friday night.
"We have a good working relationship with Bath and our
medical team, led by Prav (Mathema), have been working closely and in unison
with the team at Bath," the former Wales and British and Irish Lions
"It is pleasing that Taulupe is in line to make his
return for them this week and will link back up with us on Monday."