Oct 29 2013
Scrum-half Mike Phillips has vowed to plough his time and energy into the Wales squad after confirming his contract with Bayonne has been terminated.
The 31-year-old released a statement on Monday night saying he intends to issue legal proceedings against the Top 14 side, who are yet to officially confirm his dismissal for allegedly turning up drunk to a video analysis session on October 11.
Despite his troubles at club level, Wales coach Warren Gatland has kept faith with the scrum-half for the upcoming autumn internationals and Phillips is determined to do all he can to gain a place in the starting XV.
The two-time British and Irish Lions tourist said: "I wish to thank my team-mates and the many friends I have made in the Basque country for their help and kindness over the past two seasons.
"I will now wholeheartedly concentrate all my energy and efforts on training with Wales and try to earn a place in the match day squad to help Wales have a successful autumn campaign against South Africa, Australia, Argentina and Tonga."
Phillips was accused of being intoxicated when the squad met on October 11, the morning after Grenoble had been defeated 37-6 in the Amlin Challenge Cup.
Team-mates Dwayne Haare and Stephen Brett also faced the Top 14 side's board last Tuesday to answer for their involvement in the same incident.
Phillips sat out Friday's 24-19 victory over Montpellier, but Brett started the match while Haare was included on the bench.
The Wales international claims he learned of his dismissal from an interview in a French newspaper on Monday morning and was now in talks with his legal team over possible action.
In an interview with Sud Ouest on Monday, Bayonne chairman Alain Afflelou described Phillips' alleged behaviour as "treason".
Phillips said: "I am extremely disappointed and frustrated by the decision taken by Aviron Bayonnais Rugby Club to terminate my employment.
"I was also disappointed by the fact that I officially heard about my dismissal through an interview given in a French newspaper this morning.
"As a result of discussions with my legal team in France I have now instructed them to issue proceedings against Aviron Bayonnais Rugby Club through the French judicial system."
Afflelou claimed if the club had not got rid of Phillips he himself would have stepped down.
He told Sud Ouest: "It was him or me. I could not have stayed in a club with such disagreement.
"He is a repeat offender and has been laid off for misconduct.
"From the moment he let us down, his friends, coaches and fans, it was not possible to keep him.
"However, I had great respect and affection for the boy, very respectful, and the player. I had already kept him on a year ago against everyone's advice.
"This summer, I even invited him to my house to offer him a contract extension of two years.
"I trusted him. This is treason."
Phillips was fined and suspended for 10 days by relegation-threatened Bayonne for an off-field incident last year and was briefly banned from the Wales squad in 2011 following a confrontation with a doorman in Cardiff.