There is plenty for Wales boss Wayne Pivac to mull over as he finalises his squad for the autumn internationals.
Here are some of the issues he is weighing up in your rugby headlines for Sunday October 4
Webb sends Pivac Wales message
Rhys Webb put down a marker to be Wales’ starting scrum-half this autumn as he helped the Ospreys get off to a Guinness PRO14 flier.
Webb was man of the match as Toby Booth’s side shocked Edinburgh with a 25-10 triumph in Scotland.
It was the perfect fillip for Webb who has returned to the region as he seeks to reclaim the Wales number nine jersey ahead of the looming clashes with France, Scotland, Ireland, Georgia and England.
Webb has been at the centre of controversy in recent years after being omitted from Warren Galand’s squad following his move to Toulon. Many fans felt the 60-cap ruling meant Wales were not picking their best number nine.
But he is right in Wayne Pivac’s thoughts as he seeks to head off the challenge of Gareth Davies as Wales’ first-choice scrum half for the looming autumn matches.
Webb set up two of Ospreys’ tries and earned this plaudit from our rugby correspondent Mark Orders, who was covering the game for Wales Online.
“Man-of-the-match Webb was exceptional. In dismal conditions, the Wales international took charge from the off and played key roles in two of the Ospreys’ three tries. He kicked well out of hand but it was his vision in attack that proved the difference.”
You can read about our coverage of the game here.
Webb limped off near the end after picking up a bump while defending, but Pivac will be hoping it is just a minor knock.
The Wales coach names his squad for the autumn campaign on Tuesday, October 6, with Webb certain to feature.
Doubts over Liam
Lions full-back Liam Williams is a worry for Wayne Pivac ahead of the opening autumn matches with France and Scotland, according to The Rugby Paper.
They say Williams was “again conspicuous by his absence from Scarlets’ season-opener against Munster when Jonathan Davies and Rhys Patchell reappeared for the first time since the World Cup.”
The three men have each been hit with major problems, with Williams having had only one game of rugby since injuring himself ahead of Wales’ World Cup semi-final exit against South Africa a year ago.
That came on the wing against England in the Six Nations.
The paper say he has yet to resume full training “which suggests he will be hard pushed to be ready for Scotland at the end of the month” in a concern to Pivac.
The Wales boss sees Williams as an important part of the more adventurous way he wants his team to play, but he does have Leigh Halfpenny who was in record-breaking form for the Scarlets against Munster.
More of that in a moment.
Halaholo back in the mix
The same paper say that while there are doubts over Williams, Cardiff Blues centre Willis Halaholo is ready to seize his Wales chance again this autumn.
Kiwi Halaholo, who qualifies for Wales on residency ground, was called up by Pivac for the friendly with the Barbarians last November, only to injure his knee.
He finally made his rugby return in the Blues’ win over Zebre on Friday night and is hoping for another call from Pivac, who is finalising his squad in the next 24 hours.
Greenwood gushing over Rees-Zammit
Former England star Will Greenwood evidently believes teen sensation Louis Rees-Zammitt finally needs to be let off the leash by Wales.
Pivac called the Gloucester flier into his Six Nations squad after Rees-Zammit’s try scoring explots in the English Premiership, but disappointingly did not play him.
However, Greenwood has just named Rees-Zammit – and Callum Sheedy – in his Gallagher Premiership team of the season.
The much-respected centre calls Rees-Zammit the “fastest thing I have seen in the Premiership. Lightning fast.”
Rees-Zammit will make Pivac’s squad again and this time seems certain to be handed his opportunity to pull on the red jersey.
Last-gasp Scarlets agony
While the Ospreys got off to a flier, there was last-gasp PRO14 agony for the Scarlets who went down 27-30 at home to Munster.
Leigh Halfpenny landed nine penalties – a Scarlets record for a single game – but still ended up on the losing side as young fly-half Ben Healy won the game with the final kick of the match.
The visitors were down to 14 men for the final 11 minutes, but still managed to make the scores level two minutes from time with a Kevin O’Byrne try and Healy conversion.
Then Healy landed a kick from inside his own half right at the end after James Davies was penalised at the breakdown.
The Scarlets were left wondering earth they had let it slip.
-- to www.walesonline.co.uk