Rhys Webb, pictured in March 2017, signed a three-year contract to play for Toulon from next season
Toulon (France) (AFP) - Wales and Ospreys scrum-half Rhys Webb has signed a three-year contract to play for Toulon from next season, the French club announced Tuesday.
“A fair deal has been found in good faith with regard to his selection for the national team in the interest of both parties,” Toulon said in a statement.
Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal had been unhappy about Webb’s international teammate, full-back Leigh Halfpenny, whose time at the French club was punctuated by large periods of time away on duty for Wales and also the British and Irish Lions. Halfpenny’s contract was not renewed for this season and he moved back to the Scarlets.
Webb has been Wales coach Warren Gatland’s first-choice scrum-half since 2014 and added to his 28 caps during the summer when he made two appearances as a replacement in the British and Irish Lions’ drawn series with New Zealand.
Injuries have interrupted his Test career, presenting opportunities to rival Gareth Davies, but his energy and running threat mark him out as one of Europe’s most dangerous half-backs.
Webb’s departure poses a problem for Gatland, who is only permitted to select four players from clubs outside of Wales for the next two seasons, a number that will drop to two in 2019⁄20.
Established internationals Taulupe Faletau, Luke Charteris, Rhys Priestland, Jamie Roberts, George North and Liam Williams are already playing in the English Premiership, while Webb’s Ospreys half-back partner Dan Biggar joins Northampton in June.