In the first fixture since Toulon owner Bernard Lemaitre suggested Ospreys-bound scrumhalf Rhys Webb will not play for the club again, he has been omitted from their contest against the Scarlets this Sunday in the Challenge Cup.

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Lemaitre had said that it was unlikely that Webb would represent the three-time Champions Cup winners again due to his dishonest attitude, relating to his move back to the Ospreys at the end of the season, which in turn allows him to represent Wales at this year’s Six Nations. Webb is set to leave the French club despite having another year left on his contract after his family had moved back to Wales.

However, Lemaitre’s predecessor Mourad Boudjellal had the reputation at times of being full of sound and fury but signifying nothing, particularly with regards to his spat with All Black Julian Savea last season, whereby he also insisted that the winger would not play for Toulon again. Savea continued to play, and still does to this day.

However, Webb has been excluded from the 27-man squad that will travel to the Parc y Scarlets this weekend, and has been put down as one that is ‘outside the group’.

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Toulon head coach Patrice Collazo has turned to France’s Baptiste Serin and the 21-year-old Yoan Cottin in the Welshman’s absence, although Serin would have started ahead of him in all likelihood anyway.

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Toulon currently sit at the top of Pool 2 in the Challenge Cup, and a victory on Sunday would given them an unassailable lead at the top of the group, as the Scarlets currently sit four points behind them. This would also put the French side in a good position to grab a home quarter-final, although they will have to make do without Webb for the time being, as Lemaitre has not yet backtracked.

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