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Wales scrum-half Webb confirms move to France

The ‘market forces’ of Toulon look to have tempted one of Wales’ key players out of the Principality.

Image: BackpagePix/Samuel Shivambu/INPHO

OSPREYS, WALES AND Lions scrum-half Rhys Webb has confirmed he will leave his native country at the end of the season with Toulon his likely destination.

The WRU announced Webb’s decision to cut ties with Ospreys at the end of the season today, stressing that “every effort to retain the player has been made”.

Webb, who will turn 29 in December, was among the players on a national dual contract with the WRU, but he has opted to ply his trade in the cash-rich Top14 as he enters his 30s.

“It’s a huge wrench to be leaving the Ospreys after spending all of my playing career with the team,” Webb says in today’s statement.

“I have made lifelong friends on and off the pitch and I cannot speak highly enough of the quality of the coaching team, players and all of the staff involved within the Ospreys organisation.”

Webb played understudy to Conor Murray during the Lions’ drawn series against New Zealand, featuring off the bench twice and scoring a try in the opener. A host of Premiership and Top 14 clubs were reportedly alerted to his expiring contract in recent months, but it appears the south coast giants have made the most tempting offer.

CJ Stander, Conor Murray and Rhys Webb after the game Webb, right, with CJ Stander and Conor Murray after the Lions secured a series draw in Auckland. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

The joint statement from Ospreys and the WRU notes: “Whilst the news is disappointing there is an understanding that on occasion market forces will make (retaining players) impractical.”

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Sean Farrell

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