Lion’s ban boosts Boks

Mike Phillips' current suspension is a massive boost for South Africa according to a former Springbok. [more]

Lion’s ban boosts Boks

Mike Phillips’ current suspension is a massive boost for South Africa according to a former Springbok.

One of the stars of the 2009 Lions tour, Phillips was suspended from the Wales squad earlier last week following a late-night altercation outside a fast food restaurant in Cardiff.

The 28-year-old was pictured being restrained by security staff in the city centre in the early hours of the morning on Tuesday, June 14.

Walescoach Warren Gatland subsequently told Phillips not to report to squad training as Wales continue their preparations for this autumn’s World Cup.

That move has put Phillips’ participation at the global gathering in doubt and ex-Springbok star Thinus Delport believes Wales’ pool D opponents will be delighted if the new Bayonne signing doesn’t make the plane to New Zealand.

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"It's good news for us because Mike is such a key part to the Welsh structure," Delport told BBC Sport.

"He adds so much to the Wales team and he's definitely one of the stand-out players.

"To have one of the stand-out players out of the set-up would be advantageous for the South Africa set-up.

"He offers a lot of physicality, especially round the breakdown. He reminds me a lot of Joost van der Westhuizen when he played for South Africa.

"He's really aggressive in the defence and especially against a team like South Africa you're going to need that physicality and aggressiveness going into the contact."

Wales and South Africa meet in Wellington in the opening round of World Cup action on September 11, with Fiji, Samoa and Namibia the other sides in the group.

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