- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 1, 2015

CARDIFF, Wales (AP) - Mike Phillips retired from international rugby on Tuesday as Wales’ most capped scrumhalf could no longer count on making the team.

He played 94 tests for Wales, and five more for the British and Irish Lions. He debuted in 2003 against Romania, and his last cap was in August, in a Rugby World Cup warm-up loss to Ireland.

Not in Wales’ original World Cup squad, Phillips was summoned when successor Rhys Webb was injured before the tournament. Phillips was still only their third-choice scrumhalf, and was not picked for a match by a team which reached the quarterfinals.

“It was always a dream of mine to play for Wales, it meant everything to me, and it’s an amazing feeling to represent your country,” he said in a statement. “For me, it was a privilege.”

Phillips began his Wales career as the understudy to Dwayne Peel in 2003, and didn’t become the first-choice scrumhalf until the 2008 Six Nations, when Warren Gatland was coach. Wales won the Grand Slam that year, and Phillips also helped them win the Six Nations in 2012 with another Grand Slam, and in 2013.



He was the starting scrumhalf in the 2009 Lions side which lost to South Africa, and in the 2013 side which beat Australia.

He eclipsed Peel as Wales’ most capped No. 9 in 2013, and finishes in a tie for sixth on Wales’ all-time list.

The 33-year-old Phillips has been playing club rugby in France since 2011.

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