Italy v Wales, Six Nations, February 22
Phillips happy to play 'on the edge"
February 22, 2013
Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips will win his 78th Test cap against Italy on Saturday © Getty Images
Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips has vowed to continue to play 'on the edge' and insisted that it brings the best out of him.
Phillips is no stranger to confrontation or verbal jousting and despite Italy captain Sergio Parisse's recent 30-day ban for abusing an official, the 30-year-old has no intention of toning down his act as his side look to add fuel to their recent recovery with victory against the Azzuri in Rome on Saturday.
"There is a little bit that goes on on the pitch, but what happens on the field stays on the field," he told the Western Mail. "I do enjoy that side of the game. I think it maybe brings the best out of me. I am at my best when I am on the edge.
"You have to be up for it on the pitch, haven't you? Otherwise, you get hurt. Parisse is a great player, probably one of the best in the world to be fair. The fact he is not playing is actually great for us and it is a massive loss for Italy. He is a top player who definitely gets them going."
Phillips has struggled to recapture his best form of late but was a key figure as Wales finally snapped an eight-Test losing run with victory in Rome last time out - but he and the rest of Rob Howley's side have no intention of resting on their laurels. "I was really happy with my last performance against France," he said. "I think it was my best in a Welsh shirt for a while. I have to push on now and make sure I keep it up.
"It is not nice losing matches, particularly in the manner we have with a few last minute defeats. They have been games we could have won and that is frustrating as a player. You go out there to win every game and we put a lot of effort in to do that.
"It was nice to finally get that victory, a big one away from home against a team like France. I enjoyed going back to France after the win and had a lot of messages. It was a great night for us and the boys really fronted up and played well. But we have to improve again now and create some more opportunities. It is all about improving and pushing on at this level."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.