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SOS call tempts 39-year-old Mike Phillips to come out of retirement

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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Mike Phillips has decided to use a book tour back in his native Wales later this month as the perfect excuse to come out of retirement for one game only at the age of 39. Now based in Dubai, the former scrum-half is set to publish his autobiography and will use its launch as his opportunity to play for Whitland, his old grassroots club, when they host a WRU Plate competition game at home to Aberystwyth on October 23.


Whitland are apparently struggling with injuries and Phillips, the half-back who won 94 Test caps with Wales and another five with the Lions, has taken to social media to announce he will be lining out again four years after he called it quits. 

Holding a Whitland jersey under the sun in the UAE, Phillips told his followers in a brief video message: “I’m back.” 

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Mike Phillips guests on the RugbyPass Offload
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Mike Phillips guests on the RugbyPass Offload

The half-back, who won three Six Nations titles, played at two World Cups and made two Lions tours in a stellar career, started out playing youths rugby at Whitland before he was picked up by the Scarlets academy 20 years ago.

The upcoming grassroots appearance will be the second time that Phillips has come out of retirement since quitting in summer 2017 following a club career where he played for Scarlets, Cardiff, Ospreys, Bayonne, Racing and Sale. 

In his first year away from the game, he was asked by Scarlets to help them out when they had an injury crisis for a trip to South Africa in the PRO14. Phillips said yes and he played twice on that late November/early December tour. 


According to the pre-publication promotion for Phillips’ new book, Half-Truths – My Triumphs, My Mistakes, My Untold Story, it promises revelations about his run-ins with the police on the streets of Cardiff, what really went on inside the Wales and Lions dressing rooms and the truth behind that fateful night outside McDonald’s when a scrape with a bouncer saw him hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons on the eve of a World Cup training camp.


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