Rhys Webb: Wales scrum-half eligible for 2020 Six Nations tournament

Rhys Webb prepares to kick for Wales against South Africa
Rhys Webb made his 31st appearance for Wales against South Africa in December 2017

Scrum-half Rhys Webb is eligible to play for Wales in the 2020 Six Nations after announcing he will return to Ospreys from Toulon.

The Welsh Rugby Union has confirmed Webb will be eligible for immediate selection after being given a "six-month dispensation".

It was announced Toulon had agreed to Webb's early release from his contract for family reasons.

Webb last played for Wales against South Africa in December 2017.

The 31-year-old will be available for the opening game against Italy on 1 February and he will battle for a place in Wayne Pivac's first squad with Gareth Davies, Tomos Williams and Aled Davies.

Webb had been ineligible for Wales since the WRU brought in a selection policy in October 2017 that meant players would not be picked if they had won fewer than 60 caps and opted to move away from Wales.

The British and Irish Lions scrum-half had announced he was signing for Toulon from Ospreys and missed the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

A Welsh Rugby Union statement said: "The Welsh Rugby Union can confirm Rhys Webb will be eligible for selection for the 2020 Guinness Six Nations.

"It was announced earlier this week that Top 14 side Toulon had agreed to Webb's early release from his contract for family reasons.

"Following the 31-times capped scrum-half's contractual commitment to return to play his club rugby in Wales with the Ospreys next season, the Professional Rugby Board (PRB) has agreed to an application from the player and his representative to allow a six-month dispensation from the Senior Player Selection Policy, during which new Wales head coach Wayne Pivac can consider Webb for selection.

"In accordance with Wales' Senior Player Selection Policy, the 31-year-old British and Irish Lion was originally eligible for international selection from 1 July 2020.

"However, the dispensation granted by the PRB enables Webb to compete for a place in Pivac's first campaign in charge of Wales, starting at Principality Stadium against Italy on 1 February.

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