Shane Williams: Mike Phillips could be Bayonne scapegoat

Mike Phillips in action for Bayonne

Wales' record tryscorer Shane Williams has suggested Bayonne are making former team-mate Mike Phillips a "scapegoat".

The scrum-half has been suspended and his future at the French club is in doubt following an alleged breach of discipline involving alcohol.

"Sacking him will free up a lot of euros and ease the pressure of having to lose him during international duties," Williams wrote on Twitter.external-link

"It also takes the pressure off the team for their poor league position."

He added: "Mike's commitment to the club cannot be questioned having played over 70 games in two-and-a-half seasons.

"You can also include a (successful) Lions series, Grand Slam and (Six Nations) Championship in that time. Would leaving Bayonne be a bad move for Mike?"

Phillips, who joined Bayonne after the World Cup in 2011, appeared before the club's board on Tuesday to answer allegations he turned up to a video analysis session under the influence of alcohol.

Team-mates Dwayne Haare and Stephen Brett also had to answer allegations at that meeting, and were fined but not suspended.

He has been left out of the match-day squad for Friday's Top 14 game against Montpellier but Bayonne have condemned media reports in France that claimed the 31-year-old has already been sacked.

Wales coach Warren Gatland showed support for the 77-times capped player when he named him in a 35-man squad earlier this week.

"We will just sit down and have a quiet chat about where his head's at and what he's doing," said Gatland. "But there will be no sanctions for him here in this set-up."

Phillips was suspended by Bayonne last year for off-field misconduct and by Wales in July 2011 after a confrontation with a doorman in Cardiff city centre.

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