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‘Daddy’ Webb so happy to be back at No 9

'Daddy' is back at No 9! Rhys Webb and family

‘Daddy’ Webb so happy to be back at No 9

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Rhys Webb printed a message onto a calculator to his three kids to tell them ‘Daddy is Number 9’ for the Guinness Six Nations clash in Rome. 

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The 34-year-old Ospreys scrum half makes his first championship start for six years in the coveted jersey that was once worn by the likes of Mike Phillips, Dwayne Peel, Terry Holmes and Sir Gareth Edwards.

A lot of water has gone under the bridge for the 2017 British & Irish Lions Test player since then. He spent time in Toulon, ruling himself out of international selection due to the 60 Cap rule, and returned to find his skills not to the liking of Wayne Pivac.

But he’s always been the first choice No 9 for Wales at home.

“I’m certainly not one to throw my toys out of the pram. I enjoy working hard and it is a privilege and an honour to be back wearing this jersey,” said Webb.

“My wife and three kids are coming out to support me in Rome. They keep on asking me ‘Why aren’t you wearing the number nine jersey? – ‘why are you wearing No 21 all the time?’

“I actually put it on the calculator last night – Daddy is Number Nine – so they know. It’s good, it’s nice to be back.”

Wales could do with him to link with his regional half-back partner Owen Williams and steer Wales away from a potential first ‘Wooden Spoon’ in 20 years. His debut in 2012 was in the final 10 minutes of a 24-9 home win over Italy as Wales stayed on course for a Grand Slam.

Now they have to battle with the Italians for a win that would stop either team finishing bottom of the table. Webb has certainly worked hard to get back to the top, and has been playing well for Ospreys.

He also says the passion to play for Wales once again, and perhaps make it to his first World Cup in France later this year, was rekindled on a trip to watch Wales play with one of his sons.

“I took my son and some kids from his rugby team to watch a game at Principality Stadium and when the boys were singing the anthem and the crowd were going, it felt like, ‘I need to be back here’,” he added.

“It was hard to watch, especially at the stadium. I just wanted to be out on the pitch with the players.

“It just made me go back to the Ospreys and work hard, keep my head down and keep my focus. All I could do was play well for the Ospreys.

“Squads get picked and you get that initial disappointment but it’s what you do then. You can either let your head stay down and throw your toys out of the pram and not do anything, or you can go back to your club, work hard, put the training in, put the hours in and seek the rewards from that.”

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