Toby Faletau compared with All Blacks master by legend Gary Teichmann
NEWPORT Gwent Dragons star Toby Faletau has been compared with the world’s finest number eight Kieran Read who recently set the southern hemisphere’s Rugby Championship alight.
The similarity with the masterful New Zealander was made by legendary Springboks captain Gary Teichmann who captained Newport between 1999 and 2001.
The 27-year-old Read was in sublime form on the weekend in a try-scoring man of the match performance as his side beat South Africa in a 38-27 classic at Ellis Park.
Their victory in a breathless encounter saw New Zealand crowned as the southern hemisphere’s top dogs for an impressive seventh time in nine years.
Faletau, 22, is fast building a reputation as the best number eight in the northern hemisphere.
He has already won the Grand Slam with Wales in 2012 as well as helping his country retain their Six Nations title this year.
Faletau then starred for the British and Irish Lions in their series-clinching 41-16 third Test triumph over Australia in July after being snubbed for the first two games against the Wallabies.
Earlier this week, the great Martyn Williams hailed Faletau as important to the national team as Adam Jones and Leigh Halfpenny and “head and shoulders above any other number eight in Wales”.
Teichmann, one of the most successful captains in Springboks history who skippered them to a record 17 consecutive Test match wins which included clinching the 1998 Tri Nations series, is also a big fan.
“Toby really impressed me during the last World Cup in New Zealand and, like every good number eight, he has that power and explosiveness.
“But he’s more than just that as well because he links well with the backs and is more than just a bashing type of loose forward.
“He reminds me a bit of Kieran Read and he can break up defences and has those creative attributes that make him more than just another powerful loose forward who gets over the gain line.”
Teichmann, who made 52 appearances for the Black and Ambers and led them to their 2001 Principality Cup victory over Neath at the Millennium Stadium, is back in Newport next month.
There is ‘An Evening with Gary Teichmann and Friends’ rugby dinner taking place at Rodney Parade on Friday, November 8 at 7.30pm, the eve of the Wales v South Africa autumn international clash.
Sponsored by the South Wales Argus, he will be joined by many of his team-mates from that Principality Cup triumph, including Ian Gough, Matthew J Watkins, Alix Popham, Dale Burn, Shane Howarth and Jason Forster.
The event will also support the efforts of ex-Wales, Newbridge, Pontypool and Ebbw Vale back Byron Hayward who is raising money and awareness for ocular melanoma (a type of eye cancer) charity OcuMel UK.
Tickets are available from www.theeventsroom.co.uk or on 0845 108 5690 (office hours).
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