Phillips poised to face old friends

Wed, 08 Jan 2014 18:42
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Wales scrumhalf Mike Phillips looks set to make his home debut for Racing Metro against his first professional side when the Scarlets head to Paris this Friday.

Wales scrumhalf Mike Phillips looks set to make his home debut for Racing Metro against his first professional side when the Scarlets head to Paris this Friday.

The European Cup Round Five encounter will pitch the 80 times capped, double Grand Slam winning scrumhalf against one of his main rivals or the Wales jersey in the upcoming Six Nations, Rhodri Williams, in a game that is a must-win for both teams.

"Growing up as a kid I always supported the Scarlets, even though the club was called Llanelli at the time, and it's where I got my start in professional rugby. I had two years in the Llanelli Under-21s and then two seasons in the first team before moving to Cardiff," said Phillips.

"Playing my first home game for Racing against my first professional club has a nice ring to it."

The two teams fought out a 26-26 draw in Round Two at Parc y Scarlets and both coaches know that nothing other than victory will do if they are to keep in the fight for a ticket into the quarterfinal of either the European Cup or the European Challenge Cup.

The Scarlets will go into the game on the back of two successive derby defeats at the hands of the Ospreys, while Phillips and his Racing teammates are still bouncing after their victory over European champions Toulon, even though they lost to Oyonnax at the weekend.

"We have a very important three weeks coming up, with European Cup matches against the Scarlets and Clermont, followed by a home game with Toulouse. It is important that we maintain momentum, improve in every game and get some more big wins," added Phillips.

"Our last game at home was superb - a great win against Toulon. At home again this weekend it is crucial we retain that momentum. Teams who come to play us have to know that they are in for a fight, and that they will have to scrap for every point."

While it has been some time since Phillips was a star at the Scarlets, he still knows a number of players there very well, including his Test halfback partner Rhys Priestland. He also played with current coaches Simon Easterby and Mark Jones.

"The first message to my Racing teammates will be to beware of the Scarlets. Over the years, they have always had dangerous backs, and when I followed them as a kid they were always an exciting team to watch.

"They play a wide, expansive game that is part of the identity of the club. They will be coming over here to throw the ball around, because that is traditionally the Scarlets' style.

"But this is a very young side and they seem to be even more expansive - running the ball even more than in the past. They are young players, full of confidence and with nothing to lose, so I'm expecting a tough game."

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Connacht v Edinburgh 22h00 Sportsground
Munster v Scarlets 22h00 Thomond Park
Dragons v Cheetahs 22h00 Rodney Parade
Ospreys v Leinster 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 22h00 Scotstoun
Kings v Treviso 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Fri, 16 March 2018
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
Jaguares v Waratahs 38 | 28
France v England 22 | 16
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
La Rochelle 6 4 0 2 20
Wasps 6 3 0 3 17
Ulster 6 4 0 2 17
Harlequins 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 6 5 0 1 22
Saracens 6 3 1 2 18
Ospreys 6 2 1 3 15
Northampton Saints 6 1 0 5 6
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 6 6 0 0 27
Exeter Chiefs 6 3 0 3 15
Montpellier 6 2 0 4 13
Glasgow Warriors 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 6 4 1 1 21
Racing Metro 6 4 0 2 19
Castres 6 2 1 3 12
Leicester Tigers 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Scarlets 6 4 0 2 21
Toulon 6 4 0 2 19
Bath 6 4 0 2 18
Treviso 6 0 0 5 4