Rhys Webb, Wales and British & Irish Lions international, has signed a two-year deal to rejoin the Ospreys from next season.
The scrum-half is returning to Wales after Toulon agreed to release him from the final year of his contract “for family reasons”.
Webb, 31, left Ospreys in 2018 to join the French for three years, ruling him out of Test selection for Wales.
“It’s just great to come back where rugby all started for me,” he said.
“I am really looking forward to the challenge and fighting for the Ospreys jersey again.”
Webb spent a decade with the Ospreys before moving to France where his family found it hard to settle and returned to Wales.
“It was difficult to be away from my family and young children,” Webb said.
“I have loved my time in Toulon but it’s a relief to come home to the Ospreys, it’s where my family are, where I was brought up, and where rugby all started for me.
“To return to play for my home region again is just really special for me and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be able to do that again.
“As I said at the time, nobody turns down Toulon and I wanted to experience something different.
“I am thankful that they have released me a year early from my contract and I am as excited about returning to the Ospreys as I was at going to France.
“Everybody knows how important my family is to me and being able to return home, especially to the Ospreys is massive for me.
“I just can’t wait to pull the jersey on again and to run out in front of my fellow Ospreylians.”
In addition to his 31 Wales caps, Webb made two appearances off the bench during the Lions’ drawn series against New Zealand in 2017, scoring a try in the first Test.
Webb was the highest-profile casualty in a change in WRU selection rules in 2017, which meant players taking up a new deal with a team outside of Wales must have won 60 caps to be able to continue playing for the national side.
His move meant he was a notable absentee when Wales won the 2019 Six Nations Grand Slam and reached the semi-final of the World Cup in Japan.
When Rhys Webb left he was the best nine Wales had… and it was just bad circumstances that meant he missed out on playing for Wales again, I thought he was very unlucky in that sense.
We are very blessed in Wales that we do have really good scrum-halves, but Rhys Webb will bring that competition back and he has that experience which is needed.
As far as everyone in Wales is concerned, I’m sure they’ll be clapping their hands at the moment because we’d love to see Rhys competing for that nine jerseys in Wales.
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Source – Sport365coza