Rhys Webb: Ospreys praise attitude of scrum-half after Six Nations omission

Rhys Webb has won 36 Wales caps and two Tests for the British and Irish Lions
Rhys Webb has won 36 Wales caps and two Tests for the British and Irish Lions

Ospreys head coach Toby Booth has praised Rhys Webb's attitude since the Wales scrum-half was dropped by Wayne Pivac for the Six Nations squad.

Webb, 32, was omitted in favour of Scarlets duo Gareth Davies and Kieran Hardy and returning Cardiff Blues number nine Tomos Williams.

Pivac questioned Webb's pace and speed of pass for international rugby.

"I am not going to get drawn into an arm wrestle about my comments v Wayne," said Booth.

Ospreys have had mixed Wales news this week with Webb and hooker Sam Parry left out and Nicky Smith ruled out for six weeks with a knee injury.

Contrastingly, forwards Dan Lydiate, Adam Beard and Rhodri Jones have been recalled but it was Webb's omission that created headlines.

"I work with Webby every day and talk about what he can do rather than what he can't, that's just my philosophy on it," said Booth.

"I know he played exceptionally well against Cardiff Blues and was very influential. His game management won us the Edinburgh match. I know what he can do for Ospreys but Wayne has his own ideas and I can't influence that.

"If those are the things he needs to do we will put some attention on them for him. If he is playing well for Ospreys, his chances will increase."

Booth says Webb's reaction has been positive this week.

"He has been brilliant," said Booth.

"We have spoken about it. We want to show empathy to our team-mates and it's important he knows he is not on his own.

"He has to manage his disappointment in the right way and he has done that. He has turned up with a fantastic attitude and has been involved with our game leaders group this morning.

"We have just finished a team session, our final preparation for the week and he has led by example. He has energised the group and he knows that is the route to be included as and when.

"He has been visible and has not gone into his shell. He has experience and he has been here before so the signs are encouraging for us."

Booth confirmed Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones remains on track to be in contention for selection against Ireland in the Six Nations opener against Ireland on 7 February.

The 35-year-old damaged knee ligaments against Italy in early December and was originally ruled out for 10 weeks.

Pivac indicated he could return in nine if he is included against Ireland although Jones will not have played a match in between.

Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones has won 142 caps for Wales and played nine Tests for the British and Irish Lions
Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones has won 142 caps for Wales and played nine Tests for the British and Irish Lions

Booth confirmed Jones will not be involved for Ospreys against Connacht on Sunday in the Pro14 trip to Galway.

"He's not quite ready," said Booth.

"He's doing exceptionally well and wouldn't have been included with Wales if not. He's getting there and isn't too far away but he won't feature for us.

"He's now out of my jurisdiction. We've got him to where he is in his rehab to this point.

"When you get to the 80% mark, the last 20% is a bit of a movable feast. Different people respond in different ways.

"Alun Wyn reacts well to his rehab and probably will be back ahead of time but when that definitely is I can't say because the last couple of weeks are pretty sensitive.

"There are all sorts of markers people have to hit, then there's being match fit and whether Wayne feels he's fit enough to play or come from the bench."

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