Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Phillips heads to Gloucester

Ollie Phillips

Gloucester have strengthened their back division with the signing of former England Sevens captain Ollie Phillips.

The Cherry and Whites turned to Phillips after wing Lesley Vainikolo left the club for La Rochelle and full-back Olly Morgan suffered a season-ending knee injury.

The 29-year-old has been a free agent since leaving Stade Francais in the summer, when a knee injury hampered his search for a new club. But Phillips trained with the England Sevens squad to regain his fitness and will link up with Gloucester after this weekend's Heineken Cup clash with Harlequins.

"It's a fantastic opportunity for as I've always had a great deal of admiration for Gloucester and its rugby traditions," said Phillips, who was the IRB world sevens player of the year in 2009.

"It's a proper rugby club in a proper rugby city and Kingsholm is a place I've always enjoyed playing at. I can't think of a place I'd rather play my rugby.

"I had a call from Bryan (Redpath, the Gloucester director of rugby) who told me that Lesley Vainikolo was moving on and that he needed to strengthen the squad.

"Then I heard that Olly Morgan was injured, which was terrible news. Olly is actually a really good friend of mine and I'm gutted for him but the news sped things up a bit.

"I'm fit and raring to go. There was an opportunity to play some Sevens but, once I knew of Gloucester's interest, my mind was made up."

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