Wales
Mike Phillips not giving up on World Cup
ESPN Staff
August 19, 2015
Mike Phillips during Wales training
Mike Phillips during Wales training© Stu Forster/Getty Images

Mike Phillips still holds hope of playing for Wales at the World Cup despite being dropped from Warren Gatland's training squad.

Phillips, Wales' most-capped scrum-half, was one of three high-profile players to be cut from the Wales squad last week along with James Hook and Richard Hibbard.

The 32-year-old has fallen down the international pecking order behind Rhys Webb, Gareth Davies and Lloyd Williams and an ineffective performance in Wales' recent World Cup warm-up defeat to Ireland saw his hopes of playing in the World Cup all but end.

"I'll always have that ambition to play rugby for Wales and if they come knocking you're always going to go and represent your country," Philipps told BBC Sport. "The dream lives on, as they say. Who knows what can happen?

"I just respect the decision. Over the last year maybe I've fallen out of favour anyway. Things happen and I respect them all, they're great people.

"There was frustration and I was annoyed, but you then realise that life goes on and I'd been there for a long time. I worked hard and knew it hadn't been the best season for me in an international shirt.

"I knew things were coming to the end so I just worked hard and thought if I make it, I do and if I don't, I don't. It's not the end of the world and I've got to be positive and look forward."

Racing Metro star Phillips will now turn focus to club matters, with the new Top 14 campaign due to start on Friday. However, should Wales suffer an injury crisis at the World Cup, he would be more than ready to make a return.

"I don't see why not. He [Gatland] knows me better than anyone and has been great to me over my career," added Phillips, who won 94 caps for Wales after making his international debut in 2003.

"Things happen in sport and there's a long way to go before the World Cup starts. I've got to keep myself really fit and hopefully I'll get a good start to the season with Racing and who knows what can happen?"

© ESPN Staff

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