WALES and Lions scrum-half Rhys Webb has confirmed that he is leaving for France at the end of the season.

The 28-year-old Ospreys ace, who is on a national dual contract, is believed to have agreed a deal to head to the Top 14 with Toulon.

Webb made his debut for the Liberty Stadium side in 2007 and after learning his trade as deputy for the likes of Mike Phillips, Justin Marshall and Kahn Fotuali’I has made the 9 jersey his own.

He also established himself as the national side’s first choice, winning 28 caps, and played twice for the British and Irish Lions against New Zealand last summer.

Webb’s stock is high so he has opted to accept an offer from France and follow half-back partner Dan Biggar, who is joining Northampton, out of the door.

He said: “It’s a huge wrench to be leaving the Ospreys after spending all of my playing career with the team.

“I have made lifelong friends on and off the pitch and I cannot speak highly enough of the quality of the coaching team, players and all of the staff involved within the Ospreys organisation.

“I will continue to give the region everything I can to make sure we have the best season possible and I would like to conclude by saying a heartfelt thanks to everyone within the region for helping me achieve my goals within rugby.”

A joint statement from the Ospreys and Welsh Rugby Union statement read: “In line with our intention to keep our best players in Wales, every effort to retain the player has been made. “Whilst the news is disappointing there is an understanding that on occasion market forces will make this impractical.”

Assuming that the offer of a fresh dual contract was actually on the table, the loss of Webb will leave Warren Gatland with a selection headache.

The WRU’s senior player selection policy allows him to pick just four players from outside Wales with Biggar, Liam Williams, Taulupe Faletau, George North, Rhys Priestland, Jamie Roberts and Owen Williams captured by the rule.