Bath fined for releasing Faletau for Wales duty

Dec 28 (Reuters) – Bath have been fined 60,000 pounds ($80,484) by Premiership Rugby for releasing number eight Taulupe Faletau to play for Wales outside the designated international window set by World Rugby.

Wales were the only nation to host a fourth test after Nov. 25 and while most of their England-based players returned to their clubs, Faletau stayed with the national side to play in the 24-22 win over South Africa on Dec. 2.

The Premiership’s policy dictates that clubs cannot release players outside specific periods set for international matches, in accordance with World Rugby’s regulations.

“We understand Premiership Rugby’s position on this, and have subsequently worked proactively with them to swiftly achieve a fair resolution,” Bath chief executive Tarquin McDonald said in a statement.

“We continue to support the objective of a solution for the separation of club and international calendars in a way which benefits players, clubs and unions, and brings an end to situations such as this.”

Bath are the second Premiership club to be punished for breaching the policy, with the Northampton Saints fined the same amount in 2013.

The league’s governing body said that an initial fine of 90,000 pounds had been reduced due to Bath’s co-operation.

Faletau, 27, is a major doubt for the Six Nations after sustaining a serious knee injury earlier this month.

($1 = 0.7455 pounds) (Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru, editing by Nick Mulvenney)

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