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Wales boss Gatland distances himself from new selection policy

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Wales boss Gatland distances himself from new selection policy

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(Reuters) – Wales head coach Warren Gatland believes the criticism directed at him over the new national team selection policy was unfair as he was not involved in the actual process. A Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) rule change means no player with fewer than 60 caps will be selected if they play for a club based outside the country. [ID: nL4N1MS298] Scrumhalf Rhys Webb, who has 28 caps for Wales and a mainstay in Gatland’s squad, lashed out at the policy as it effectively ruled him out of the 2019 World Cup after agreeing to join French club Toulon next season. Gatland, 54, expressed his disappointment over Webb’s exclusion but believes the new policy is better for Wales. “I was consulted on the new policy, but I wasn’t involved in the process,” Gatland told reporters. “I got pushed out there from a media perspective and it was almost like it was my idea. “There was a lot of criticism of myself over this and I felt that was unfair. “The policy we have now is better than the one we had previously, but I feel for Rhys in that he is not going to be available for the next World Cup.” Gatland has picked Webb for Wales’ upcoming tests against Australia, Georgia, New Zealand and South Africa in November.

(Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)
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