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Gatland hints at Webb recall

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Gatland risks clash with WRU after calls for 'common sense' over Rhys Webb availability

Wales head coach Warren Gatland still hopes he may have Rhys Webb available for next year’s Rugby World Cup.

Webb, 29, is ineligible to play for his nation after a Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) selection policy change last year.

Any player contracted outside Wales must have at least 60 caps to feature for the national team, and the Toulon scrum-half falls short of that marker with 31.

However, Gatland is maintaining hope he could use Webb at the showpiece tournament in Japan next year.

“I feel very sorry for Rhys,” he told UK media.

“I would love the opportunity to be able to pick him but the rules say I can’t. I would like to think that, if we have injuries at scrum-half, common sense will prevail.”

Gatland said Wales were being heavily impacted by the absence of Webb.

“The pleasing thing is that we meet once a month, the Rugby Management Board, which is the four head coaches [of the regions],” he said.

“I think they understand; if you talk to them they know what the situation is.

“I don’t think that anyone wants to see a team hampered by not being able to pick the best player.”

Wales have been drawn with Australia, Georgia, Fiji and Uruguay in Pool D at the Rugby World Cup.

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Gatland risks clash with WRU after calls for 'common sense' over Rhys Webb availability