Mike Phillips: Former Wales & Lions scrum-half to quit at end of Sale's season

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Mike Phillips' Wales memories are made of this

Former Wales and British and Irish Lions scrum-half Mike Phillips is to retire when Sale Sharks' season ends.

The 34-year-old won two Grand Slams with Wales, in a career that spanned the 2003-2015 World Cups.

In all, he made 99 Test appearances, five of them in two Lions tours, and won three Six Nations with Wales.

"I will attack the next chapters with the same passion, commitment and laughter as I did during my entire career," he wrote on social media.

He also tweeted: "Thanks to the fans, teammates, clubs, coaches, @WelshRugbyUnion the @LionsOfficial, friends & family who have supported me over the years."

The Carmarthen-born player's career has not been without controversy.

He was sacked by Bayonne in October 2013, having been suspended by them a year earlier for off-field misconduct, and by Wales in July 2011 after a confrontation with a doorman in Cardiff city centre.

On the field, Phillips' combative style and imposing physical presence made him Wales' number one scrum-half for much of the era since Warren Gatland took over the national team before the 2008 Six Nations.

Phillips scored a try that helped Wales to victory against England at Twickenham to start that Grand Slam campaign.

He was also part of the 2012 clean sweep and Wales' 2013 title win.

The Lions picked Phillips for the 2009 tour of South Africa, and he played in all three Tests in their 2-1 series defeat.

Two more Lions caps followed in 2013 when Gatland guided the tourists to a 2-1 win in Australia.

Phillips' career: Scarlets to Sale via Welsh rivals and French clubs

Phillips' Wales career began against Romania in 2003 while he was understudy to fellow Wales and Lions cap Dwayne Peel at Scarlets.

His last Wales cap came against Ireland in Cardiff in August 2015 as they prepared for that year's World Cup.

Phillips was initially left out of coach Warren Gatland's squad for the tournament, but recalled as cover for the injured Rhys Webb before the opening game against Uruguay.

However, he played no part as Wales reached the quarter-finals and retired from Test rugby in December that year.

Phillips joined Cardiff Blues from Scarlets in 2005, moved to Ospreys two years later and headed to France to join Bayonne in 2011.

He then played for another French Top 14 side, Racing 92, and joined English Premiership club Sale for the 2016-17 season.

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