With under six months to go until this year’s World Cup in Japan, some players in the northern hemisphere will not have long to impress and earn a place at the tournament, with the season reaching an end.
This topic was once again raised on BBC Scrum V, and has evoked quite a reaction from Welsh fans on Twitter, with many arguing for and against his inclusion.
Webb joined French giants Toulon at the beginning of the season, making him ineligible to represent Wales as he has under 60 caps. However, there may be measures to make sure he can play in Japan, such as a short-term contract.
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Some fans are very much for this, as ultimately they want the best team possible when it comes to the World Cup, and Webb would still be a favourite to start. Neither Gareth Davies, Tomos Williams or Aled Davies have been able to secure the number nine shirt since Webb departed, and it appears many fans would welcome back the former Osprey with open arms.
This is what they are saying:
Have the scrum half’s been playing that well??? There’s no way you can say the 3 featured during the autumn & 6 nations are all better than Webb! Personally I don’t care how they do it, but if Webb is available for the World Cup, he has to go!
— Nathan Lloyd ??????? (@NMarzy4) April 7, 2019
We are a small country making life difficult for ourselves picking players who aren’t as good … what if others go? We won’t play them but we’ll play players from other countries who comply with the residency rule? (Nice guys obvs) Have a word with yourselves
— Annie (@Ginger_Ninja27) April 7, 2019
We haven’t got enough strength in depth to hamstring ourselves. He’s by far the best scrum half and must feature.
— David Burke (@DavidMBurke) April 7, 2019
He's world class ffs, bring him back @BBCScrumV
— Alun 633 (@AlunHarries1) April 7, 2019
Rightly so if Wales are to be serious contenders then the WRU need to pick their best players , we are a small country and need all the best players available……
— rhodri john williams (@rhodri13jw) April 7, 2019
You either pay the players their open market value, don’t pick them or … change the 60 cap rule and have a shout at winning the World Cup. Rhys Webb would get into the side in a heartbeat.
— Graham Binns (@Binnsey22) April 2, 2019
On the other hand, it is being argued that Webb knew the consequences of his departure when he left for Toulon, and it is therefore unfair on the other players that have remained in Wales if they miss out on a World Cup place.
What makes this particularly interesting is that there is a grey area in which Webb may or may not have been aware of the consequences of this move, as Wales implemented the rule at a similar time to the announcement of his departure. With consistent loopholes being found in this ruling, particularly by English clubs, this could lead to another instance where a player has wrangled his way into the Warren Gatland’s team.
This is what the fans are saying:
Great player and stupid rule… But he made an informed choice.
— brenig moore (@brenzinho) April 7, 2019
— mark thomas (@markthomas157cb) April 7, 2019
Stop going on about Rhys Webb it was his choice to go and he knew the consequences if he chooses to cone back to Wales before world cup great but not if it's just a temp fix to get him to world cup as that will be unfair on those who stayed
— richard jones (@richard62467632) April 8, 2019
You can't blame him for cashing in, it's a short career and he has quite a few injuries, Halfpenny, Davies and others have rightly feathered their nests but the rule didn't apply then but I think where Rhys Webb is concerned it could split the nation its that contentious!
— Alun Hodson (@AlunHodson) April 7, 2019
Harsh on the other 3 scrum halfs. The grand slam winning scrum halfs!
— Ollie Jonas (@oliverjonas2) April 7, 2019
The crux of the issue to these fans is that Webb knew what he was doing, and he must face the consequences of his move away from Wales. Anything otherwise could prove to be divisive.
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