Taulupe Faletau determined to ‘take advantage of every opportunity’ with Wales

Taulupe Faletau will continue to focus on enjoying his rugby after making an exceptional return to the international stage.

The Wales number eight continued where he left off against England at Twickenham by delivering another display of barnstorming as France were pushed to the limit at Cardiff.

It was only Faletau’s fourth game of the season after spending seven months on the sidelines with an ankle injury, but he was the game’s leading runner with 13 and also went for more yards – 101 – than any other player.

Taulupe Faletau, centre, delivered an outstanding performance for Wales against France (David Davies/PA)

With veteran compatriot Josh Navidi also back from injury and playing beautifully alongside him in the back row, they proved influential figures behind Wales, giving Guinness Six Nations leaders France a major scare forward to be edged 13-9.

“I try to take advantage of every chance I get to play,” Faletau said.

“To have been out for so long and to have watched from the touchline, it just makes you appreciate every chance you have.

“I think the boys are disappointed. We put ourselves in a decent position to win the last two games and came out on the wrong end both times.

“It was what we expected from France. They are finicky, especially in the contact area, and they have gotten key turnovers in key positions.

“We gave ourselves an opportunity, but we didn’t quite cross the line.”

Italy will be next for Wales on the final day of Six Nations action next weekend, while a three-Test tour of South Africa in July will see the coach- leader Wayne Pivac to continue to build the team’s strength in depth ahead of next year’s World Cup.

Faletau added: “It builds on what we did against France and last week against England.

“We will gain confidence playing against a team like France and having chances to win the game, and we will work to put aside the chances.

“It’s always a good thing to have competition throughout the team. The more people challenge each other, the better.

“We’re just going to push each other to get the best out of each other.

“We put ourselves in a decent position to come away with a win. We didn’t, but we will take confidence in what we were able to create, the chances and the pressure we were able to apply.

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