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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

Rhys Webb 'can still get out of his Toulon contract' and play for Wales, says Warren Gatland

Webb has 28 caps and is therefore set to miss out on Test rugby under new WRU policy after agreeing to join the French club next season

Ospreys scrum-half Rhys Webb makes a break during the European Rugby Champions Cup match against Clermont Auvergne at Liberty Stadium. Stu Forster / Getty Images
Ospreys scrum-half Rhys Webb makes a break during the European Rugby Champions Cup match against Clermont Auvergne at Liberty Stadium. Stu Forster / Getty Images

Wales coach Warren Gatland is disappointed that he will not be able to pick Rhys Webb under the new qualification rules but said it was not too late for the scrum-half to change his mind about a move to Toulon.

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) announced a new policy on Monday that restricts international selection for players plying their trade in clubs outside Wales to those that have won at least 60 Test caps.

Webb has 28 caps and is therefore set to miss out on Test rugby after agreeing to join the French club next season.

"I had a good conversation with Rhys," Gatland told reporters on Monday.

"He can still get out of his Toulon contract. He has just signed a letter of agreement. He has not signed a full contact with Toulon.

"He has had a lot of injuries, he is 28, getting to 60 caps might take three years and he might not get that opportunity [to move] again.

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"You have to feel for him. From my point of view, we potentially won't be able to pick a world-class player. That's disappointing."

Webb has been a mainstay in Gatland's squad when fit and said that he was still hopeful of a place in the squad for the November internationals against Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Georgia.

"I have given 10 years' service to the Ospreys and Welsh rugby and have picked up injuries along the way," Webb told Wales Online. "I would have hoped that would have been taken into consideration.

"I still very much want to play for Wales this season and hope I can gain selection for the autumn international squad."

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