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Mike Phillips calls time on his international career with Wales

Published 01/12/2015

Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips has announced his retirement from international rugby.
Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips has announced his retirement from international rugby.

Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips has announced his retirement from international rugby.

The Racing 92 player appeared in 99 Tests - 94 for Wales and five for the British and Irish Lions.

But the 33-year-old did not play in the recent World Cup, left out of Warren Gatland's initial squad for the tournament before being recalled as cover for the injured Rhys Webb ahead of the opening game against Uruguay.

"This is a chance for me to close a chapter of my life, playing for Wales has been a massive part of my life since I was 20 or 21, and to move on the next chapter," Phillips said in an interview on the programme, The Real Mike Phillips, to be broadcast on BBC Wales next Monday.

Phillips won his first Wales cap against Romania in August 2003 and made a try-scoring debut in a 54-8 victory at Wrexham.

In all, he scored nine tries for Wales and was a key member of the teams that won the Six Nations title in 2013, Grand Slams in 2008 and 2012, and reached the semi-final of the 2011 World Cup.

Phillips represented three Welsh regions - Llanelli Scarlets, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys - before moving to France in 2011, where has played for Bayonne and Racing 92.

But he was arguably at the peak of his powers on the 2009 Lions tour of South Africa where he one of 13 Welsh players to be selected in Ian McGeechan's party.

Phillips was one of only five players to play in all three Tests as the Lions were edged out 2-1, and he was among the stand-out performers of the tour.

He won his final Wales cap in the 35-21 defeat to Ireland in a World Cup warm-up match in August.

"It's been amazing, a dream come true to play for Wales," Phillips said.

"Since I was young all I've wanted to do is play rugby for Wales.

"I've got some very special memories which I will cherish for the rest of my life.

"Nobody can take them away and I'm very proud of what I've achieved in the jersey and, hopefully, the next generation can go and achieve great things as well.

"This is a chance to say thank you to everyone, to family and friends, all the supporters, the Welsh Rugby Union, all the players I played with and the management.

"But it's also nice to put a close on it and move on to the next thing - whatever that is."

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