Phillips left out of Ospreys side against

Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips who is clubless after leaving the Ospreys has been offered a rugby lifeline by Gareth Thomas’ rugby league side, The Crusaders.

With the salary cap in England meaning all their clubs had “concluded their business” before Phillips came on the market in March, switches to either France or even the Waratahs in Australia have been mooted.

But now Phillips has attracted the interest of the Wrexham based Crusaders and there is nothing stopping him playing rugby league and still turning out for Warren Gatland’s Wales

“If he is interested in switching codes, we would be foolish not to pitch in and try to get him to play here,” said Crusaders coach Iestyn Harris.

“After the success of Gareth’s (Gareth Thomas) conversion we feel that more players should be encouraged to follow in his footsteps,” said a Crusaders spokesman.

“We are looking to build something special up here in north Wales both as a successful team on the field and to create a strong business model and a club that the fans can be proud of.”

Bayonne in the Top 14 are still favourites to sign the Wales scrum-half.