Waratahs court Mike Phillips and Dwayne Peel

Mike Phillips
Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips has won 51 international caps

New South Wales Waratahs are interested in signing Welsh scrum-halves Mike Phillips and Dwayne Peel, BBC Sport Wales understands.

The Australian Super Rugby team are seeking a replacement for Wallaby scrum-half Luke Burgess, who will join Toulouse after the World Cup.

Phillips, 28, is contracted to the Ospreys until 2014 but has been given permission to seek a new club.

Fellow British and Irish Lion Peel, 29, has another year on his Sale contract.

A third British player, England back-row James Haskell has also been linked with a move down under from current side, French giants Stade Francais.

Under current rules, all Australian sides are able to recruit at least two foreign players, although Melbourne have dispensation to sign up to 10 as the Rebels try to establish themselves in their inaugral season.

As such it would be highly unlikely for the Waratahs to sign both Peel and Phillips, with the two players seemingly in competition for the nine jersey - as they have been in the past for the Scarlets and Wales.

Former Wales fly-half Jonathan Davies says he is not sure whether Phillips, currently the first-choice Wales scrum-half who has been linked with several French clubs, would suit a move to Australia.

"I don't know where he's going to go," Davies admitted.

"It's a bit strange when you ask to get released and you haven't got a club lined up, but I'm sure that Mike and his agent have got something up their sleeve.

"Flying back from France to do a Wales training session is not too bad. Flying back from Sydney is a little bit different I think."

Danny Cipriani, Michael Lipman and Wales number eight Gareth Delve have all impressed with their performances for fledgling Australia side Melbourne Rebels, perhaps paving the way for more British players to sign for southern hemisphere teams.

Phillips won his 51st international cap in Wales' Six Nations defeat in France and is contracted to the Ospreys until 2014 after signing a new big-money deal in March 2010.

The 6ft 3in former Scarlet joined the Ospreys from Cardiff Blues in April 2007 for a deal thought to be worth £700,000.

Peel has been capped 76 times by his country and joined Sale from the Scarlets in the summer of 2008, signing a new two-year deal with the Manchester club in January 2010.

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