Phillips will play key role – Gatland

Date published: September 9 2015

Wales coach Warren Gatland believes recalled scrum-half Mike Phillips will play a key role in his side's World Cup campaign.

Phillips returned to Wales' 31-man World Cup squad as a replacement for Rhys Webb, who was sidelined from the tournament after sustaining an ankle injury in his side's 23-19 victory over Italy in Cardiff on Saturday.

Although Gareth Davies and Lloyd Williams were picked ahead of him in Wales' squad for the global showpiece, Gatland believes Phillips, who has played in 94 Tests for his country, can still make an impact at the World Cup.

"For that first game against Uruguay, the experience Mike brings and what he's achieved in the past is going to be pretty invaluable for us," explained Gatland.

Gatland also hinted that wing Eli Walker, who came into the squad as injured full-back Leigh Halfpenny's replacement, would get game-time in Wales' tournament opener against Uruguay in Cardiff on September 20.

"Eli's an exciting player who's pretty inexperienced as well and they've come in behind other players at the moment," the voach added.

"But hopefully those players might be involved in the first match."