Welsh scrumhalf announces retirement

2015-12-01 19:53
Mike Phillips (Getty Images)

London - Wales scrumhalf Mike Phillips on Tuesday announced he has retired from international rugby.

The Racing-Metro player, 33, appeared in 99 Tests - 94 for Wales and five for the British and Irish Lions.

But he was left out of Wales coach Warren Gatland's squad for the World Cup and although he was subsequently recalled as cover for the injured Rhys Webb, he did not play at the tournament.

"This is a chance for me to close a chapter of my life and to move on to the next chapter," said Phillips in a BBC Wales documentary, The Real Mike Phillips, due to be broadcast next Monday.

Phillips won his first cap against Romania in Wrexham in August 2003, scoring a try in a 54-8 victory.

He would go on to score a further eight tries for Wales and was a key member of the teams that won the Six Nations title in 2013, Grand Slams in 2008 and 2012, and reached the semi-finals of the 2011 World Cup.

Perhaps his finest hour came during the 2009 Lions tour of South Africa, when he was one of only five players to play in all three Tests. Ian McGeechan's side lost that series 2-1 to the Boks.

He won his final Wales cap in a 35-21 loss to Ireland in a World Cup warm-up match in August.

"It's been amazing, a dream come true to play for Wales," Phillips said. "Since I was young, all I've wanted to do is play rugby for Wales. I've got some very special memories, which I will cherish for the rest of my life.

"Nobody can take them away and I'm very proud of what I've achieved in the jersey and, hopefully, the next generation can go and achieve great things as well.

"This is a chance to say thank you to everyone, to family and friends, all the supporters, the Welsh Rugby Union, all the players I played with and the management.

"But it's also nice to put a close on it and move on to the next thing -- whatever that is."

Phillips wore the colours of three Welsh regions -- Llanelli Scarlets, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys -- before moving to France in 2011, where has played for Bayonne and Paris side Racing.

Read more on:    wales  |  mike phillips  |  rugby

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