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

Rhys Webb says he has not given up hope of playing for Wales again after his move to Toulon next season.

New Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) selection rules will stop the British and Irish Lions scrum-half playing for Wales because he has fewer than 60 caps.

Webb has made only 31 appearances for Wales, but he remains hopeful.

“I do hope common sense can prevail, but in the meantime it has been done, it is there and it is in place from the beginning of next season,” he said.

“I’ve been downhearted about it, before Christmas when it first came out, but I’ve thought about things now and I am not going to dwell on it anymore.

“Hopefully something can be done but in the meantime, my future lies with Toulon for the next couple of years.”

‘The end of my Welsh career’

Webb has had no further talks with the WRU but remains committed to his new club in France, who said they were happy for him to continue playing for Wales.

“As I know, unfortunately, that’s the end of my Welsh career and it hurts me to say that,” he added.

“But like I say, I am not going to dwell on it anymore. I am looking forward to my rugby in Toulon and hopefully can play some of the best rugby of my career over there and things can change.”

In previous seasons the Wales selectors have been able to pick up to four players who have chosen to play domestic rugby outside Wales.

The new regulations, which come into force in September 2018, are designed to encourage the best Welsh players to remain in Wales.

Webb agreed his move from Ospreys to Toulon before the new qualification rules were announced in October 2018.

National coach Warren Gatland said at the time it was “unfortunate” Webb had been caught by the rule change.

Webb, who will miss the whole of the 2018 Six Nations after undergoing surgery on a knee injury last week, remains hopeful his Wales career is not over.

“I am hopeful because it is every boy’s dream to represent their country and there is no better feeling than pulling on that Wales jersey in front of 72,000 people at the Principality Stadium,” he said.

“It means a hell of a lot to me and my family.

“It is out of my hands and I’ve got a future in Toulon for three years and a family to think of to take my mind off things.

“I am devastated, gutted, but I can’t get too down about it, I’ll need to take up another hobby or spend more time with the kids.”

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