Bath fined £60,000 for releasing player to play for his country

Bath RFU have been handed a fine of £60,000 by the Premierships governing body after they allowed Taulupe Faletau to play for Wales against South Africa in their recent Autumn International.

British and Irish Lions star Faletau has made himself a regular within the welsh camp, having won 70 caps mainly at the back of the scrum and will be a certainty for the Welsh six Nations squad should he recover from the Knee Injury he recently received whilst on European duty of Bath in their Champions Cup defeat at the hands of Toulon.

The reason for the fine was that as the game was played a week later than the rest of the autumn internationals it was therefore considered to be ‘outside of World Rugby’s international window’ therefore meaning within the Premierships rules no club would be allowed to release any of their contracted players.

This means that Bath are now the second premiership team to fall foul of this rule after Northampton were fined the same amount in 2013 when they released another Welshman George North to play in a test against Australia.

Bath have since urged both the domestic and international boards for some resolution between the two conflicting schedules, however due to their open co-operation in dealing with the matter at hand they did have £30,000 of the original £90,000 fine wiped.

When questioned about the conflict, Bath RFU CEO Tarquin McDonald stated, “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.”

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