Six Nations 2015: Taulupe Faletau targets more Wales success
Wales number eight believes that winning this year's championship would top their unexpected win in 2013
Taulupe Faletau believes that Wales winning this year’s RBS 6 Nations title would top their 2013 triumph.
The Newport Gwent Dragons number eight was a key part of the Wales side that made history by becoming the first country to win the championship after losing their first game to Ireland in Cardiff.
When the final whistle went against England it was amazing, but if we could replicate that it would probably be even better. Just doing it again I think would make it better.
Taulupe Faletau on winning the Six Nations against the odds
It was a year that Wales played three of their matches away from the Millennium Stadium and they secured the title in style with a record 30-3 win against England in the final match to deny Stuart Lancaster’s men what should arguably have been their Grand Slam.
History could repeat itself later this month if Warren Gatland’s men can defeat reigning champions Ireland at home on Saturday before securing a third win on the road in Rome against Italy.
“2013 was great and the win against England at the end was probably the most satisfying I’ve had,” Faletau said.
“To lose the first game in 2013 and to have people on your backs and knocking you down…then to come back from that as a team was great.
“When the final whistle went against England it was amazing, but if we could replicate that it would probably be even better.
“Just doing it again I think would make it better.”
Wales were second best in the second half of their opening match as they went down 21-16 to England, but have bounced back with solid wins on the road against France and Scotland.
Gatland’s men face another tough examination when Joe Schmidt’s green machine roll into the Welsh capital on the back of 10 successive wins, including against England last time out in Dublin.
But Faletau believes that Wales are heading in the right direction and spending more time together as a squad is paying off.
“The boys put a good shift in and we got the result we wanted in Paris,” he added.
“It was a good day at the office for the pack and the platform we had at the scrum, especially for me, was noticeable.
“It’s what we want going forward and the longer we spend together the more we seem to get better.
“Hopefully we can build on last weekend and keep our tournament alive.”
Faletau could line up against his British and Irish Lions rival Jamie Heaslip, if the Leinster captain makes a return on Saturday after missing the England win with a damaged transverse process, suffered after receiving a knee in the back from France lock Pascal Pape in their 18-11 win in Dublin last month.
He’s an important player for Ireland and one of their leaders, so if we stop his game maybe it will slow the rest down. But there’s another 14 players you’ve got to stop as well and Ireland are definitely favourites.
Taulupe Faletau on Ireland counterpart Jamie Heaslip
Ireland have been on a scintillating run of form of late, that has not only brought them a Six Nations title, but also impressive wins over South Africa and Australia in the Guinness Series last November.
Seen as many people’s pre-tournament favourites, Ireland are the only remaining unbeaten country heading into the penultimate round of the championship.
And while the Welsh forward recognises the Heaslip’s importance to Ireland’s cause, he is all too aware that there are plenty of dangermen at Schmidt’s disposal as they look to defend the title they won in dramatic fashion in Paris almost 12 months ago.
“He’s a great guy and a great player who’s made a name for himself for many years now,” Faletau said.
“He’s an important player for Ireland and one of their leaders, so if we stop his game maybe it will slow the rest down.
“But there’s another 14 players you’ve got to stop as well and Ireland are definitely favourites.
“They had a really good autumn series beating Australia and South Africa and they’re on fire at the moment.
“They haven’t lost for 10 games, but we’ve just got to do our job, do all the work on the training field, and hopefully that will translate onto the pitch.”
Gatland will name his team to play Ireland on Tuesday morning.