The Rhys Webb interview: The real reason I quit Wales, the ‘terrible’ deal I was offered and why I had to put my family first

The Rhys Webb interview: The real reason I quit Wales, the ‘terrible’ deal I was offered and why I had to put my family first

When Rhys Webb announced his retirement from international rugby just a few months out from the World Cup it led to more than a few raised eyebrows among the Welsh rugby public.

After all Webb has never represented Wales in rugby’s showpiece event having been cruelly denied by a nasty foot injury a mere week out from the tournament in 2src15, while in 2src19 he fell foul of Welsh rugby’s controversial 6src-cap law while he was plying his trade in Toulon.

Having returned from France to join the Ospreys in 2src19 Webb was then deemed surplus to requirements by then Wales boss Wayne Pivac. But the man from Bridgend refused to throw in the towel, fighting hard to regain his place as Wales first choice scrum-half during the Six Nations.

READ MORE: The group of Wales players now fighting to survive Gatland’s imminent cut

So, why did he feel the need to call time on his international career so close to the World Cup? “Coming back from Toulon the goal was always to play for Wales again and I achieved that,” Webb told WalesOnline.

“I had to bide my time because Wayne Pivac wasn’t interested in my services but I dug in, and with the full support of the Ospreys coaches, worked my way back up into the Welsh squad. I finished my time in Wales as first choice scrum-half which I’m proud of but due to contract negotiations which were stalling all the time I had to make a choice.

“When you get older as a professional rugby player you understand how money starts decreasing. I was aware and accepting of that but I wasn’t able to commit to anything I’d been offered back here in Wales.

“I thought with the service I’d given to the Ospreys and getting back to becoming the number one Welsh scrum-half I thought I’d have been in a decent position.

“I wasn’t asking for more money but I didn’t think it would be as massive a drop as it was. I was disappointed in that but with that happening, and with all the stuff that went on in the Six Nations it was mind blowing.”

Webb is of course referring to the protracted contractual freeze which took place for most of the season, and which also very nearly led to the players striking ahead of Wales’ Six Nations clash with England in Cardiff. In the end strike action was narrowly averted but times remain tough for every professional rugby player in Wales with a period of severe austerity set to hit Cardiff, Dragons, Ospreys, and Scarlets.

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“Having been in the international wilderness for so long I obviously didn’t expect to come back to all that,” he said. “I loved my time in Welsh rugby but there always seems to be something h

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