Webb retires from international rugby


Webb retires from international rugby

Rhys Webb, a key player on the 2017 British & Irish Lions Tour of New Zealand, has announced his retirement from international rugby at the age of 34.

Webb was named among the replacements by Warren Gatland during all three Tests in his sole Tour, coming on during two of them and making a big impact.

The Welshman snaked through to score his first Lions try in the dying stages in the first Test, giving the men in red momentum heading to Wellington, where the tourists triumphed 24-21 to level the series.

He was introduced to the fray 11 minutes from time in the decider and his lively display off the bench helped the Lions secure a dramatic 15-15 draw which saw the series end all square.

Webb, who appeared from the start in Tour matches against the Blues and the Highlanders, made 98 metres across the Tour, beating six defenders and making three clean breaks from 19 carries – while he also proved a key influence off the field as he threw himself into being a valuable part of the squad.

“I’m on the wives and girlfriends committee, which is quite a tricky one really – basically my job is to give the boys updates on how their other halves are getting on back home,” he said in a Q&A while on the Tour.

“I am not a big one for browsing social media and obviously I don’t know half of the lads’ partners, let alone their names, but I suppose it is about trying to pick out a few bits of information!

“I am updating the squad on when boys’ partners are coming out, letting them know they had a safe flight and are all good – it’s not too bad a job really.”


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On the scrum-half rivalry with Conor Murray and Greig Laidlaw, he added: “We have been battering each other for a number of years in the Six Nations but the moment you join this squad you come together, train together and ultimately help each other to do what is best for the team.

“I get on well with both of them, but of course there is that competitive part inside me that wants to win and get that Test jersey, so when it comes to training you have to be focused – but off the pitch you flick the switch and are back to being teammates again.”

Webb earned 40 Wales caps across an 11-year career in another famous red jersey, scoring eight tries.

At club level, he has featured for Ospreys, Bath and Toulon, while his retirement sees him follow fellow Wales stalwarts Justin Tipuric and Alun Wyn Jones in hanging up his boots ahead of this autumn’s World Cup.

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