Phillips still in the mix for Wales

Warren Gatland insists British & Irish Lions scrum-half Mike Phillips is still in the mix for Wales' World Cup squad, despite slipping down the pecking order. [more]

Phillips still in the mix for Wales

Warren Gatland insists British & Irish Lions scrum-half Mike Phillips is still in the mix for Wales’ World Cup squad, despite slipping down the pecking order.

Phillips, who wore the No.9 shirt for both of the Lions’ Test victories over Australia in 2013, was named on the bench behind Rhys Webb for each of Wales’ last four outings.

Gatland – Lions head coach for the victorious tour Down Under – has replaced the 32-year-old with Gareth Davies for Wales’ clash with Scotland on Saturday.

However, he is adamant that the decision does not mark the end of international opportunities for Phillips – Wales’ most capped scrum-half in history.

“If he makes the World Cup squad he is probably a player who is not going to be around for 2019,” said Gatland.

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“He has given us fantastic service and Rhys Webb is still developing as a nine with a number of things in his game he needs to work on.

“Mike has not been left out because of form, we just feel it is an opportunity for Gareth to come in and make an improvement.

“He has got to fight for his position like everyone else and there is a lot of competition in the squad.”

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