The Welsh international – a two-time Lions tourist who played every minute of all three Tests against the All Blacks on the 2017 tour – started at blindside flanker this weekend for Todd Blackadder’s side.
And the back-rower – out since October with a broken arm – produced a stunning break and offload to lay the first try of the game on a plate for his teammate Max Green.
The West Country outfit ran out 18-16 winners over Wasps – their first win in Europe this season – and Blackadder was full of praise for his returning star ahead of the 2019 Six Nations.
“He looked really sharp,” he said. “He just grows another arm and a leg when he gets out there on the field.
“Before the game he was really, really nervous. But it’s good to see those nerves from an experienced guy like him.”
10 weeks down, not long to go … looking forward to getting back out there with the boys in the new year 🔵⚫️⚪️ pic.twitter.com/qM1sUD8BSL
— Taulupe Faletau (@taulupe) December 16, 2018
There was more good news for Bath as Jonathan Joseph – another Lion from 2017 who made three appearances on Tour – is set to end a nine-month injury lay-off next weekend.
Elsewhere in the Champions Cup, Ken Owens was again at No.8 and again pulled up trees for the Scarlets.
The Lions Test hooker packed down again at the base of the scrum and scored a try and claimed the man of the match award in a 33-10 win over Leicester Tigers.
His fellow hooker from the 2017 Tour Rory Best was also impressive as Ulster handed Racing 92 their first defeat of the European season.
And Best’s fellow Irishman Tadhg Furlong led by example in the front row alongside Cian Healy as defending champions Leinster made light of some key Lions absentees like Jonathan Sexton,
Robbie Henshaw and Sean O’Brien to down Toulouse and take control of their Pool.