From Tonga to Wales, find out about the back-rower's rugby journey

Who is Taulupe Faletau: Ten things you should know about the Wales No 8

Taulupe Faletau has spent a decade excelling at the top of the world game for Wales and the British & Irish Lions.

Not only is his work ethic a standout, but he has a softer skill-set in terms of his footwork and link play as a ball-carrier.

Here are ten more facts about the Wales forward.

Ten things you should know about Taulupe Faletau

1. Taulupe Faletau was born on 12 November 1990 in Nuku’alofa, Tonga.

2. His dad, Kuli, played 20 Tests for Tonga. After RWC 1999, he and his family moved to Wales where he played for Ebbw Vale and Pontypool.

3. The Faletaus are good friends with the Vunipola family. England forwards Billy and Mako Vunipola describe Taulupe Faletau as their ‘cousin’.

4. He made his Wales debut against the Barbarians in June 2011, starting at No 8 in a 31-28 defeat. Since then, when fit, he has been a mainstay in the Wales back row.

He scored his first Test try against South Africa at the 2011 Rugby World Cup and won his 50th Wales cap against Fiji four years later at RWC 2015.

5. He scored a try in the British & Irish Lions’ second-Test victory over New Zealand in 2017.

He started all three Tests of that tour at No 8, and he was also given the nod in that position over Jamie Heaslip for the decisive third Test of the 2013 tour to Australia.

Warren Gatland also selected him for the Lions 2021 tour to South Africa.

6. He made more than 100 appearances for Newport Gwent Dragons between 2009 and 2016, then he joined Gallagher Premiership club Bath.

7. He started all of Wales’ games in the 2012, 2013 and 2021 Six Nations matches when they won a Grand Slam and two championships respectively.

8. He was the third top tackler in the 2021 championship, his tally of 77 only beaten by Justin Tipuric and Charles Ollivon.

Related: Taulupe Faletau on playing in the moment

9. Faletau is in a long-term relationship with Charlotte Rhys Jones, who is the sister of Welsh footballer Gareth Bale’s wife Emma.

10. The couple have two sons, Israel and Ezekiel.

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