Bath fined $80K for letting Faletau play for Wales vs Boks

BATH, England — Bath was fined 60,000 pounds ($80,000) on Wednesday for making No. 8 Taulupe Faletau available for Wales' rugby test against South Africa this month.

The match on Dec. 2 fell outside World Rugby's official release window, but Bath let Faletau go.

Wales won 24-22 in Cardiff.

Because Bath admitted to breaching Premiership Rugby regulations, the latter reduced the fine from 90,000 pounds.

A precedent was set four years ago when Northampton was fined for releasing George North to play for Wales against Australia outside the test window.

Bath said it expected the English league's regulation to be lifted in time for Faletau to feature for Wales, and club chief executive Tarquin McDonald insisted they will continue to try get the rule amended.

"We understand Premiership Rugby's position on this, and have subsequently worked proactively with them to swiftly achieve a fair resolution," McDonald said.

"We believed this situation would change, that has not yet happened, and we have therefore come to an appropriate settlement with Premiership Rugby.

"However, we continue to believe that there is appetite for change and that this ongoing conflict between the club and international calendars is not good for players, clubs or unions.

"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."

Premiership Rugby defended its policy.

"This board policy has been an essential one, especially as there has been an increasing number of international matches being organized outside the specified international weeks," Premiership Rugby said. "The agreed policy is well known to clubs, players, and unions."

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