Webb signed a 3 year contract for French side Toulon in the summer which ultimately ends his international career as he has yet to reach the required caps to play outside of Wales and still represent his country.
The news was confirmed by Webb’s fiancée, Delyth Hewitt in an emotional blog in which she confirms she will head back to Wales with their three children, Regan, 8, Jesse 3, and baby Remi. Webb will remain in Toulon further highlighting the pressures that players and and their families face when moving abroad.
In her blog she stated:
“Of course, there are moments where I have doubts: is this really a realistic idea? Leaving Rhys here and taking the boys back? But the truth is, I don’t really know what it’s going to be like.
“I know it’s going to be amazing being around family and friends again and it’ll be lovely to not have to stare blankly at someone who speaks rapid French to me in the supermarket or remember ‘passenger to pavement’ whenever I find myself driving on unfamiliar roads and my instinct is to come off the roundabout the wrong way (again). But it’s going to be horrible being away from Rhys.
“Now I’m ok with my own company, I’m a bit of a hermit anyway, and we’re only 7 hours door to door away, but still.. it’s that extra pair of hands around; the company you enjoy sitting in silence with after a long day of finding responses to satisfy Jesse’s constant intrigue; a different (and apparently more authoritative) voice for the boys to hear telling them to “LEAVE EACH OTHER ALONE” or him being there take the boys outside to practice rugby drills in the garden. Either way, what we both know is that their happiness and their fulfillment is paramount, and we’re so so proud of the effort they and their friends have put in trying to adapt to their new lifestyle.
“So (in a few weeks) we go again, on another little adventure. Only this time to more familiar territory…..”
But Webb will stay where he is. He is in the first term of a three-year contract on the Cote D’Azur and says his commitment to Toulon will remain full-on.
“We made the decision for Delyth and the kids to go back to Wales because we thought it would be in the boys’ best interest,” said Webb.
“It hasn’t been working out for one of my sons, Regan, in particular, and when that happens you take action to improve the situation.
“I’m under contract with Toulon and I am going to do my best to make the new situation work.
Webb is unavailable to Wales and Warren Gatland under the rule that bars exiled players from featuring for their country unless they have 60 or more caps. But he isn’t thinking about that right now.
“Playing for Wales always meant a huge amount and I still feel sad that particular privilege has been put out of my reach,” he said.
“But it’s not something I can afford to think about at this point.
“Family issues are to the fore now and have to take all my attention.”
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images
Star Player Commits to Australian Rugby
One of the Wallabies key men has put pen to paper on a new deal with Australian Rugby ahead of the Rugby World Cup
The 23-year-old’s new deal will see him stay in the country for another four-years, meaning he will be available for selection come the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.
Rodda is delighted to have been able to confirm the news ahead of the start of the Rugby World Cup in Japan which starts on Friday.
“It’s good to confirm and announce this before the World Cup starts this week, so I can shift my focus on the Wallabies, but definitely excited and honoured to re-sign with Australian Rugby and the Reds for another four years,” he said.
The news is a boost to the Wallabies as Rodda only has 21 caps for them to his name which falls well below the 60 required to represent the country if a player moves overseas to play.
That rule has already confirmed that the likes of Samu Kerevi, Adam Coleman and Rory Arnold will all be out of Wallabies contention come the conclusion of the World Cup as they head overseas with less than 30 caps each.
As well as those players there are a number of high-profile experienced Wallabies leaving the country come the end of the tournament, so this will be a real boost to fans of the green and gold.
The Wallabies kick start their World Cup campaign against Fiji on Saturday, in what is a must win game as they also face current Six Nations Grand Slam winners Wales in the same pool in which only two can progress to the quarter-finals.
Scottish Star Forced Into Early Retirement
One of Scotland’s finest players has been forced to retire from the game due to concussion
The 29-year-old was advised to quit the sport on medical grounds following a concussion which he picked up almost a year ago while playing for the Premiership outfit.
However, Denton has admitted that he was actually relieved when he found out the news as it was a long time coming.
“My actual reaction at the time my neurologist told me it was no longer a good idea to play rugby… to be honest there was a bit of relief. This had been building up inside of me for four to five months. I knew there was a strong possibility that this moment (when I had to retire) was coming. By the time I got to it, I had been through all the emotional highs and lows, so I was prepared for it,” he said.
Although it was a relief Denton also confirmed that it is a blow as he felt like he was getting back to his best and thanked everyone that has helped him along his journey.
“Of course, it is devastating that my rugby career is ending. After a few years where I had a series of injuries, I had got myself back into a position where I felt, physically and mentally, that I could play the best rugby of my career. I’m incredibly fortunate. Scottish Rugby have helped me, particularly over the last few months. They have been awesome. I’ve spent a lot of time with (Scottish Rugby ambassador) Al Kellock, (chairman) Colin Grassie and (chief operating officer) Dominic McKay and they have helped me hugely, thinking about the transition from being a player to what happens next,” he added.
He also already has plans for the future and unlike many who leave the playing field, he does not want a position back in rugby as he would like to head into corporate business.
“The people they have put me in front of (from commerce and industry) has been great. I want to get into the corporate world. Coaching, as a career, was never something that appealed to me. I’m really excited for the next steps in my life,” he finished.
“We’re really disappointed that someone who still had a lot to offer the game both at club level and for Scotland hasn’t been able to do that, but our first thoughts are with his health and his life beyond rugby and it seems to be the right decision to retire. We were hoping that taking some time out of the game would mean he would be available for selection in our world cup training squad and when that didn’t happen we were hopeful he’d be back for next season, but again that’s not happened. We’re going to miss him with Scotland. He played very well last summer after being involved in the Six Nations, playing really well in that game against Argentina, and getting back to the form he was in at the last world cup. As coaches we really enjoyed working with Dave over the years and we wish him all the best in life after rugby,” he said.
Denton leaves the game with a total of 42 international caps to his name and will be fondly remembered for several explosive games in a Scottish jersey.
Williams and Priestland Defend Biggar
Wales fly-half Dan Biggar has come in for a lot of scrutiny of late but now some of the people that know him best have come to his defence
Wales out-half Dan Biggar has been criticised of late by many fans, but fellow Welshmen JJ Williams and Rhys Priestland have come out to stand up for him while talking to RugbyPass.
Williams, who is Biggar’s current coach at Northampton Saints, believes that Biggar is not only deserving of the Wales No 10 jersey but that he is the best player in the world when it comes to knock-out rugby.
“If you need someone to stay on task, to make sure that they keep their nerve to run a game down, or close a game out in knockout rugby, there is no better player in the world. He’s mentally as tough as hell. I have often said I’d hate to see an argument between him and TJ Perenara. They are two of the most bloody-minded people I’ve ever worked with. If you want to go into battle with anyone, it’s Dan Biggar. He’s an absolute trooper,” he said.
Williams has previously coached the Super Rugby side the Hurricanes, where he worked with Beauden Barrett so the praise will come as a huge boost for Biggar.
Biggar has become Wales’ first-choice fly-half following Gareth Anscombe’s ACL injury in a World Cup warm-up game against England last month and Williams was impressed by how he dealt with being thrown into that match.
“The response he put in against England, after he had criticism, well I thought it was superb. That summed up, in a nutshell, what Dan Biggar can do and who he is as a bloke,” he added.
As well as Williams coming to Biggar’s defence, fellow Welsh No 10 Priestland is full of praise for the Northampton Saint and can’t understand the criticism.
“Look, Dan’s a great competitor, a fantastic kicker and unbelievable under the high ball. I probably see more of him playing for Wales now and whenever he has come on for Anscombe he has had a positive impact. I got better coming across the bridge (to play in the Premiership) and I’m sure he’s the same. It’s a weird one. When Anscombe was playing, there were people asking for him to start, and now Dan is starting they are asking for someone else,” he said.
Whatever people believe it is clear that Biggar’s peers hold him in high regard and believe he could be a vital part to any Welsh success.
Biggar and co have had a frustrating time during their warm-up games with three losses from four games, but will look to turn a corner over the next couple of weeks as they prepare for their opening World Cup match against Georgia on Monday September 23rd.
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