Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips three-month search for a new club looks to be over as he is on the verge of joining Top 14 side, Bayonne.
From the moment Byron Kelleher turned down the chance to join Bayonne in favour of Stade Francais, Phillips became favourite to fill the void.
Phillips left the Ospreys towards the end of the season with Ospreys’ coach Scott Johnson saying: ”After continued requests from Mike over the last 18 months, we’ve agreed to let Mike go as soon as he can find another club,” Johnson said.
“I think it gets to a stage where within an organisation, anyone who doesn’t want to be here will move on.”
Former Wales lock Derwyn Jones recently told BBC Sport that he thought Phillips would thrive in France.
“Mike Phillips has got a very good image in France. Every time he’s played against France he’s done a good job,” said Jones.
“He’s big, he’s aggressive and also Mike Phillips tends to play what’s in front of him and I think he’d play with a lot more freedom in France and that could possibly suit his game.
“I think if he went over there with good weather, with good conditions, playing for a team who play with a relative amount of freedom, I think that could really help him.
“Playing in the Magners League or in the UK we play a lot more to structure, we play a sort of a tighter game, possibly a more limited game to some extent with more of a kicking strategy.
“So maybe that doesn’t suit Mike as much and I would possibly see that as the reason why he’s not currently playing for the Ospreys.
“But if he went to France, it certainly gives him more freedom to express himself so in that respect I think it could be a good move.”Like Rugby World? Subscribe to the magazine for the latest comprehensive content.
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