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Shock call up for Ospreys star

Guinness PRO12 Editor

23 Feb 2010


Ospreys scrum-half Mike Phillips has won a shock Wales call-up to face France in the Six Nations.

One of the stand-out players on the British & Irish Lions summer tour of South Africa, Phillips has been handed a place on the Wales bench despite only playing 40 minutes in four months after damaging ankle ligaments.

Richie Rees will wear the No9 jersey with fellow Cardiff Blue Gareth Cooper dropped for the clash on Friday night in Cardiff.

But Wales coach Warren Gatland has pulled a major surprise by naming Ospreys favourite Phillips over another English-based Dwayne Peel.

"It was great to see Mike get a full half for the Ospreys at the weekend,” said Gatland, after Phillips played the second half of the narrow Magners League win over Connacht at the Liberty Stadium.

"We made the call to bring Mike back into the squad yesterday morning but there was no pressure from us – he’s keen to play.

"When Mike became available we couldn’t turn down having someone of his ability to come off the bench for us. We just couldn’t ignore the opportunity.

"He’s a world-class player, a big physical presence and has the best pass in northern hemisphere rugby. I’m sure he won’t let us down.”

For the full Wales matchday 22 to face France, please click here