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Mike Phillips focused on Wales after Bayonne exit

Updated: Friday, 01 Nov 2013 10:54 | Comments

Mike Phillips insists he is only focused on Wales after being sacked by Bayonne
Mike Phillips insists he is only focused on Wales after being sacked by Bayonne

Mike Phillips is ready to put a "frustrating" end to his Bayonne career behind him and concentrate entirely on Wales' autumn Test series.

Phillips' spell at the Top 14 outfit reached an abrupt end earlier this week when he was dismissed after allegedly turning up drunk for a players' video analysis session.

The 31-year-old has now instructed his legal team to issue proceedings against Bayonne, while there are no immediate clear suggestions about where his club future might lie.

"It's just frustrating the way it finished, obviously, but I can't really talk about it for legal reasons," Phillips said. "It is just a case of moving on.

"I am in a situation I wasn't expecting to be in, so I'm going to have to deal with it.

"My focus is here (with Wales) now, just purely on training well and performing well and making sure I am up to speed with things. I'm feeling fit and strong, so that is really what I am thinking about.

"Who knows what is going to happen? Me and my agent are going to have numerous meetings, and we will see how things go and see what happens."

Phillips' first appearance since his Bayonne dismissal is likely to be in the Wales nine number shirt against South Africa tomorrow week. After that, the reigning RBS 6 Nations champions meet Argentina, Tonga and Australia.

"Whenever you put the Welsh jersey on, you've got to perform to your very best. Anything less than that is not good enough. Those are the standards we've set, and it's why we have done reasonably well over the last few years," he added.

Phillips has claimed he learned of his sacking from an interview in a French newspaper on Monday morning, when Bayonne chairman Alain Afflelou described his alleged behaviour as "treason".

Phillips was fined and suspended for 10 days by relegation-threatened Bayonne for an off-field incident last year, and he was briefly banned from the Wales squad in 2011 following a confrontation with a doorman in Cardiff.

Wales assistant coach Rob Howley, meanwhile, believes the 2015 World Cup is "a realistic target" for Phillips, a Test player on the last two British and Irish Lions tours.

"Looking forward over the next two years, we would like to think Mike Phillips will be available for World Cup 2015," Howley said.

"I think that is a realistic target for Mike, and for that to happen he needs to be playing at a club. The important void to fill is for Mike to play rugby. Whether that is in Wales, England or France, that his down to his agent and Mike.

"From our perspective, we want Mike to be playing week in, week out."

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