'Gatland's Law' scrapped: Rhys Webb told he won't play for Wales

18 October, 2017, 01:00 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Rob Howley

The Welsh Rugby Union has changed its global player selection policy and scrapped the so-called Gatland's Law.

Webb, who has won 28 caps for Wales, recently agreed to leave Ospreys and join Toulon next season, which would make him ineligible to play for Wales under the new ruling.

While Webb's half-back partner at the Ospreys, Dan Biggar, looks set to reach the 60-cap minimum before he joins Northampton Saints next summer - needing four more caps to do so - Webb has only made 26 appearances and will be well short of the number needed to remain available for global selection.

The rule applies to all new contracts signed from today (Monday, October 16) - so players now overseas with fewer than 60 caps are still eligible until they sign new deals.

That system was created to keep players in Wales but it did not work, with a clutch of star names now in the English Premiership including George North, Liam Williams, Jamie Roberts and Taulupe Faletau.

Warren Gatland believes that his assistant coach Rob Howley will quit Wales after the 2019 World Cup and doesn't think that the former Wales scrum-half is one of the three names on the shortlist drawn up to find a new national coach, report Wales Online. He has had a lot of injuries, he is 28, getting to 60 caps might take three years and he might not get that opportunity [to move] again.

"photo1? p=" aside class="inline inline-photo full" Gatland's Law - named after Wales coach Warren Gatland - is no more.

He says the best thing is to try and keep the best players in Wales for "as long as we possibly can". The new policy takes effect immediately.

At the time Toulon said that Webb would be able to continue playing for his country as "a fair deal has been found in good faith with regard to its national selection in the interest of both parties". If they have 60 or more caps and they are outside Wales they would be. No I wouldn't. It is not about me or the national team, it is about what is the best thing for Welsh rugby?

'Whatever contract that a player is in today that contract is protected, ' he said.

The WRU will only select overseas based players if they have made 60 Test appearances or more for their country.

'The existing policy worked to an extent but it has not worked well enough, ' he added.

That could weaken Wales in the short term, or force the trio to reconsider their club plans in order to further their worldwide careers, which would also strengthen the local game.

'It was quite complicated.

The aim, he says, is to make it simpler.



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