Scarlets call on Mike Phillips to come out of retirement for South African tour

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Scarlets have announced their squad for a mini-tour of South Africa over the next two weeks, with retired Welsh international Mike Phillips named in the backs.

The 35-year-old called time on his playing career at the end of last season having turned out for Cardiff Blues, Ospreys, Bayonne, Racing 92, and latterly, Sale Sharks.

Phillips won 94 caps for Wales, taking in the 2007 and 2011 World Cups, as well as Six Nations wins in 2008, 2012 and 2013. He also toured in 2009 and 2013 with the British and Irish Lions, winning five test caps.

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He now returns to where it all began though, as an 18-year-old playing for first Llanelli and then the Scarlets, making 64 appearances altogether at Stradey Park, before Parc y Scarlets was built.

With Gareth and Aled Davies both being retained by Wales for the final two Autumn International tests, and young scrum-half Declan Smith picking up an injury, it left Jonathan Evans as the only nine available to Wayne Pivac.

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The Scarlets head coach told the official website “It’s just been one of those things! We only have one of our four contracted scrumhalves available through injury and international call-ups.

“We looked at the nines available to us within the region, and Welsh qualified players in the Championship, but they were unable to travel due to work commitments and club commitments.

“We are delighted that Mike has been able to answer the call and will be joining us in South Africa. He has a wealth of experience, is a proud former Scarlet and will be a great addition to our travelling squad.”

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Scarlets travel to South Africa for the first time since the Kings and Cheetahs joined the Guinness Pro14, sitting top of Conference B with seven wins from eight games.

Scarlets squad to travel to SA

Forwards: Tadhg Beirne, Will Boyde, David Bulbring, Jack Condy, Steven Cummins, James Davies, Taylor Davies, Dylan Evans, Ryan Elias, Rhys Fawcett, Simon Gardiner, Dafydd Hughes, Werner Kruger, Josh Macleod, Tom Phillips, Tom Price, Lewis Rawlins

Backs: Paul Asquith, Jonathan Evans, Ioan Hughes, Steff Hughes, Dan Jones, Johnny Mcnicholl, Ioan Nicholas, Mike Phillips, Tom Prydie, Morgan Williams