Belfast Telegraph

Friday 31 October 2014

Phillips apologises to Bayonne fans

Mike Phillips has apologised to Bayonne fans for his recent disciplinary trouble.

Wales and Bayonne scrum-half Mike Phillips has apologised to fans after he was alleged to have attended a video analysis session while drunk.

The 31-year-old faced disciplinary action from the Top 14 club along with team-mates Dwayne Haare and Stephen Brett after apparently being intoxicated when the squad met on October 11, the morning after Grenoble had been defeated 37-6 in the Amlin Challenge Cup.

A report in France on Thursday by Midi Olympique's website rugbyrama.fr claimed the Wales star will receive a letter on Saturday from Bayonne to terminate his contract, but that has been dismissed by the club on their official website.

Bayonne said in a statement: "Aviron Bayonnais Rugby Pro says that so far no decision has been made regarding the recent facts reported by the press.

"Aviron Bayonnais Rugby Pro deplores the deliberate attempt on the part of Midi Olympique and its website rugbyrama.fr to destabilise (the club) on the eve of an important game in the club season."

Bayonne host Montpellier in the Top 14 on Friday and Phillips has been left out of the matchday 22, although Brett will start the game at fly-half and Haare has been named on the bench.

Phillips, who had not commented on the matter since the news of the alleged disciplinary issued was reported on Monday, broke his silence on Twitter on Thursday night.

He said: "Sorry to all the fans of Bayonne for this situation, I agree wholeheartedly with the team for tomorrow night. good luck."

Phillips was also dropped for last Thursday's Amlin Challenge Cup defeat by Wasps.

The Welshman has a checkered disciplinary record as he was fined and suspended for 10 days by relegation-threatened Bayonne for an off-field incident last year, and was banned by Wales in 2011 following a confrontation with a doorman in Cardiff.

Bayonne announced in a statement on Tuesday that the disciplinary procedure relating to the latest incident would be kept private.

The club said: "Having met on Tuesday, the players Stephen Brett, Mike Phillips and Dwayne Haare, the board of the Aviron Bayonnais Rugby Pro do not intend to communicate on the recent facts such as reported by the press.

"All the components of the club are focused on the next games, beginning with the reception of Montpellier on Friday evening at the Stadium Jean-Dauger.''

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