October 20, 2017 / 9:06 AM / a year ago

Rugby-Wales scrumhalf Webb will not change mind over Toulon move

Oct 20 (Reuters) - Wales scrumhalf Rhys Webb will not change his mind about joining Toulon next year even though it means he will be ineligible to play for his country under its new selection policy.

A Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) rule change means no player with fewer than 60 caps will be selected if they play for a club based outside the country.

Webb, capped 28 times, said he was not warned the policy change was a possibility when he agreed to sign a three-year contract with the French club earlier this month.

“I don’t know how long it’s going to take me to get over it,” Webb told the BBC.

“It’s a joke. I’m disappointed. Representing your country means so much to me and being told I won’t be able to play for them is heartbreaking.”

Wales coach Warren Gatland recently suggested Webb could still opt out of moving to Toulon.

Webb replied: “I won’t be doing that. My future lies in Toulon. Being picked for Wales is still a dream now. To know that won’t be happening again is hurtful, it’s genuinely just upsetting.”

Wales centre Jonathan Davies, who is in the second season of a dual contract with the Scarlets and WRU after a two-year spell with French side Clermont Auvergne, said a move back home has helped him extend his career.

“Playing international rugby is by far the most important thing in rugby and coming back to the Scarlets was about staying in the best shape to play at the highest level,” Davies told the Times.

“We get the best possible medical care, we’re given little breaks in the season to work on conditioning and skills and a proper rest over the summer.” (Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford; )

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