Planet Rugby

Dragons admit interest in Phillips

30th October 2013 12:12


lyn jones dragons

Lyn Jones: Wants to strengthen his Dragons squad

Dragons director of rugby Lyn Jones has revealed his region would look at the possibility of signing Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips.

Phillips, who was sacked recently by Bayonne after attending a video analysis session under the influence of alcohol along with Kiwi team-mates Stephen Brett and Dwayne Haare, played under Jones when the pair were at the Ospreys.

Jones was initially coy when asked if the Dragons - the only Welsh region that Phillips has not played for - would be interested in signing the 31-year-old Lions number nine.

"It's a difficult part of Mike's career now, where he has achieved nearly everything the game can offer," he told Walesonline

"He needs to keep his motivation. From his motivation comes his discipline to play for another four years.

"His ill-discipline has cost him his life out in France and how keen is the next team going to be to take on such a character?

"But I'm sure there's somebody who will give Mike an opportunity to play and show what he can do. We all understand and realise how good a player he can be."

But there could be a stumbling block as the Welsh regions reportedly have an agreement not to sign any centrally contracted player.

This issue came to the fore when the Welsh Rugby Union tried to place Wales wing George North at the Blues when it emerged the Scarlets were prepared to sell the Lions and Wales stalwart. North later joined Premiership club Northampton.

"This is going to be a really good test for the union to see how keen Mike is going to be to being centrally contracted," Jones added.

"It's a good one to take on board, to show what they are going to do and how they go about it."

When pushed further about whether the Dragons would like to acquire the services of Phillips, Jones replied: "We've got four nines at the moment.

"We need to be looking to strengthen our squad. Richie Rees has had a good season so far - he's a very good player.

"But we wouldn't say no. We would have to look at the possibility...and I think we are the only region Mike hasn't played for."

Jones said working with Phillips was similar to working with many Test players.

"Mike is like a lot of boys who play international rugby, they are very instinctive.

"They don't want too much structure, they want a bit of freedom to play the game.

"He's very popular with players and supporters alike."

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