While he was not used during the 2011 RBS 6 Nations, Faletau has really come off age in an otherwise disappointing season for the Dragons, holding his own against the likes of Jerry Collins and Xavier Rush.
An even bigger test awaits in the form of George Smith, who Faletau could face in the capped clash against the Barbarians, and he couldn't be happier at the prospect of pulling on a red shirt.
"I'm Tongan I guess, but I've lived here most of my life here," Faletau told the Western Mail. "It's most definitely not a case of passport will travel to win caps.
"My father has been a big influence, talking to me before games, giving tips and advice. And he supported me in playing for Wales.
"It's always an honour to play for your country, an opportunity to play at a higher level.
"When we came over it was the summer, but in Tonga we were trying to catch the shade.
"Here I was inside hiding from the cold! I didn't really watch any rugby then, I was too busy playing with friends, but I've had good support from my dad and my family.
"They didn't push me, it just happened for me. My parents are quite strict, I go to church when I can and I only drink (alcohol) now and again.
"I'm finding it boring sitting around the house at the moment. I just want to play rugby.
"The World Cup is a big ambition. Like everyone else, I would love to go."