Taulupe Faletau admits 'it's hard to give your all' for Wales

Taulupe Faletau admits ‘it’s hard to give your all’ for Wales amid off-the-field financial problems with budget cuts across the four professional regions, as Warren Gatland’s side remain winless in the Six Nations

  • Wales players had threatened to strike ahead of their game against England
  • Faletau admitted the current situation is tough for the players involved
  • Wales face finishing bottom in the Six Nations if they lose to Italy on Saturday

Taulupe Faletau on Tuesday admitted it has been hard for Wales’ players to perform to their best during the Six Nations as the country’s game continues to battle financial problems. 

Wales have lost all three of their matches so far in 2023, but things have been even worse off the field as budget cuts across the four professional regions – Dragons, Cardiff, Ospreys and Scarlets – continue to have a big impact. 

Head coach Warren Gatland saw his players threaten to strike ahead of their game with England in a bid to try and solve matters but significant issues still remain.

‘You are always going to try to put your best foot forward but when things aren’t going well off the pitch it’s hard to give your all,’ said Wales and Lions No 8 Faletau.

‘It’s just a tough time we are stuck in at the moment.’ 

Wales star Taulupe Faletau has admitted it is ‘hard to give your all’ for the side currently

Welsh rugby has been consumed by off-the-field financial issues through budget cuts

The Welsh Rugby Union and the regions are yet to officially sign off on a new, six-year funding agreement and the result of that is significant uncertainty. 

Players who are out of contract at the end of the season aren’t able to pen new ones and even the offers on the table for some are as low as £30,000. 

Faletau is in his first season at cash-strapped Cardiff after returning to Welsh regional rugby from Premiership side Bath. 

‘I never saw it coming,’ Faletau said of the mess he has walked back into in Wales. 

‘I couldn’t say I wouldn’t have come if I knew. I didn’t have a clue. I’m just gutted for the players it’s affecting. 

‘I just feel like I can’t really help them. I know it’s affecting the boys who are coming out of contract but nobody has told me personally it affects me. 

‘I don’t know if I want to find out either! If I can avoid the extra stress then I will! Some of us are in fortunate positions and it’s tough to see the position of our team-mates. 

Warren Gatland’s side have lost all three games in the Six Nations and risk finishing bottom

‘In rugby we are all a family and we are in it together at the end of the day. It’s a tough period to see people struggling.’ 

The ongoing off-field chaos shows no sign of ending in Wales with a potential merger between the Ospreys and English Championship Ealing something which has been discussed by Welsh bosses. 

Wales travel to Italy on Saturday for a clash which is likely to decide which team finishes last in the Six Nations. 

Both teams are winless in the Championship to date. The last time Wales lost all five of their Six Nations games was in 2003.

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