Six Nations boost for Wales
NEWS: New Wales coach Wayne Pivac received a timely boost on the eve of the Six Nations tournament.
Pivac, who succeeded Warren Gatland as the Wales coach after the World Cup, will be able to select Rhys Webb in his team.
The Welsh Rugby Union confirmed that Webb will be eligible for selection for the 2020 Six Nations tournament.
It was announced earlier this week that Top 14 side Toulon had agreed to Webb’s early release from his contract for family reasons.
“Following the 31-times capped scrumhalf’s contractual commitment to return to play his club rugby in Wales with the Ospreys next season, the Professional Rugby Board has agreed to an application from the player and his representative to allow a six-month dispensation from the Senior Player Selection Policy, during which new Wales head coach Wayne Pivac can consider Webb for selection,” the WRU said in a statement.
“In accordance with Wales’ Senior Player Selection Policy, the 31-year-old British and Irish Lion was originally only eligible for international selection from July 1.
“However, the dispensation granted by the PRB enables Webb to compete for a place in Pivac’s first campaign in charge of Wales, starting at Principality Stadium against Italy on February 1.”
* Earlier this week Webb expressed his “relief” after rejoining Welsh club Ospreys on a two-year contract from next season, following his departure from Top 14 outfit Toulon.
The 31-year-old – who had signed a two-year deal in 2018 with Toulon which had an option of an extra season – had suffered numerous injuries and increasing competition from France scrumhalf Baptiste Serin.
However, it was largely the fact his family failed to settle in France and returned to Wales that persuaded him to call it a day and return to the team with whom he had spent a decade prior to his move abroad.
“It was difficult to be away from my family and young children,” Webb told the Ospreys website.
“I have loved my time in Toulon but it’s a relief to come home to the Ospreys, it’s where my family are, where I was brought up, and where rugby all started for me.
“To return to play for my home region again is just really special for me and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be able to do that again.”