Bayonne suspend Phillips
September 28, 2012
Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips has been suspended by his Top 14 club Bayonne © Getty Images
Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips has been suspended by his Top 14 club Bayonne following reports of off-field misconduct.
The Sud-Ouest newspaper reports that Phillips has been fined and suspended 'until further notice' for what club president Alain Afflelou described as "unacceptable off-field behaviour".
The British & Irish Lions international, who made the switch from the Ospreys to the Top 14 strugglers last summer, is no stranger to controversy having been stood down by Wales last year following a late-night altercation in Cardiff city centre.
It is thought his suspension comes having broken team rules by going out on a succession of nights out with his actions sparking a strongly-worded rebuke from a clearly angered Afflelou.
"I'm furious - outraged," he told L'Equipe. "This is unacceptable and not worthy of a professional player. It shows a lack of respect for the club's partners and the public. He will not play again until further notice and we will also punish him financially."
He added: "This is not the first time and we are sick of it. It's shameful. I'll talk to the players tomorrow to tell them that from now on, we'll only give opportunities to those who want to fight with commitment and respect for the team, our commercial partners and the public.
"Others, regardless of who they are - if they carry on behaving like spoiled children, they will no longer wear the shirt of this club."
Phillips is currently sidelined with having injured his hand in training and was already expected to miss his side's Top 14 clash with Biarritz this weekend but he may be absent for longer following his latest indiscretion.
The club later issued a statement on their website that condemned Phillips' behaviour. "The off field behaviour of Mike Phillips is unacceptable and he has been fined. He has also been suspended until further notice.
"All players are now warned, the club will no longer alow misconduct on the part of players and they may be exposed to greater penalties. We have enough quality young players at the club.
"Just because some are bigger names, it does not mean they are protected and above the group. Through these measures, I also want to preserve the vast majority of players who give back and get involved on a daily basis for the good of the club.
"Finally, it is to respect the fans who invest in and support their team."
Bayonne, who have also suspended former France winger Cedric Heymans for an unrelated incident, have won just one of their six league matches this season with Phillips reportedly booed off the field in one of their most recent outings.
Wales kick off their autumn internationals against Argentina on November 10 with clashes against Samoa (November 16), New Zealand (November 24) and Australia (December 1) set to follow.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton
Cards, kicks, slips and scores: It's The Week in Pictures, the finest snaps from the last seven days of rugby