Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Gatland plans chat with Phillips

Wales coach Warren Gatland plans "a quiet chat" with scrum-half star Mike Phillips following his latest alleged indiscretion.

Gatland has named 77 times-capped Bayonne player Phillips in his squad for next month's Millennium Stadium Tests against South Africa, Argentina, Tonga and Australia.

But Phillips has found himself in hot water after he allegedly attended a players' video analysis session at the French club earlier this month while under the influence of alcohol.

Phillips, who was dropped for last Thursday's Amlin Challenge Cup defeat by Wasps, has a checkered disciplinary record.

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.

In a brief statement, Bayonne 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 turned to the next games to begin with the reception of Montpellier on Friday evening at the stadium Jean-Dauger."

Whether Phillips will be involved in that match remains to be seen, but there are no issues with Wales and he looks set to start the Springboks clash in Cardiff on November 9.

"All I can say is over the last campaigns with us he (Phillips) has been great," Gatland said.

"He conducted himself extremely well with the Lions in Australia, both on and off the field.

"I am expecting that same sort of attitude from him when he is involved in this (autumn) campaign.

"Obviously, there are slight concerns about making sure that this is something that is not to be repeated.

"We will just sit down and have a quiet chat about where his head's at and what he's doing, but there will be no sanctions for him here in this set-up."

Asked at a Wales press conference on Tuesday if any club sanctions would affect Phillips' international prospects, Gatland added: "Not with us. That's a French decision. That is a Bayonne decision."


From Belfast Telegraph