Rowland Phillips: London Welsh job came after road accident

Rowland Phillips
Rowland Phillips is a former Wales international

Rowland Phillips has spoken about being offered the job of London Welsh head coach shortly after being hit by a car.

Phillips, 49, spent 6 March in hospital after being involved in a collision near his home in Neath, south Wales.

Ten days later, it was confirmed that Phillips had replaced Justin Burnell in charge of the Premiership strugglers.

"I didn't see the car coming and I didn't see that (appointment) coming either," Phillips told BBC Radio Oxford. "It was a shock."

A 45-year-old man was arrested following the incident, in which Phillips was a pedestrian, and South Wales Police have confirmed he is on bail while investigations continue.

Phillips, a former Wales international, initially joined London Welsh as defence coach in November and he admitted his appointment to the top job completed a whirlwind few days.

"It was quite bizarre as quite a few things happened at the same time," he said.

"I was in hospital for the Friday and Saturday. Everything happened over that weekend and early the next week and after the decisions were made I was approached by the club to lead the group until the end of the season."

Matthew Ferguson. Justin Burnell and Rowland Phillips
Rowland Phillips (r) was added to London Welsh's coaching staff in November and he has now replaced Justin Burnell (c) as head coach of the Premiership's bottom side

The Exiles, who were promoted in the summer, have not won a single game in any competition this season and will almost certainly return to the Championship.

Phillips, who also played for London Welsh, won 10 caps for Wales as a back-row forward and also won caps for the Wales and Great Britain rugby league teams.

He has also worked as defence coach at Ospreys, and as head coach at Ebbw Vale and Italian clubs Viadana and Aironi in the Pro12.

And when asked if he would like the job permanently, Phillips said he had not looked past the end of the season, adding: "It's all happened so quickly.

"My focus is purely preparing the boys for Bath and later down the line we can discuss what the future holds.

"It has been a difficult season but there is still a lot of ambition within the club and the was part of my decision to accept the role."

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