Mike Phillips starts legal action against Bayonne after dismissal for ‘treason’

 

The situation between Mike Phillips and Bayonne turned ugly yesterday when the Wales and Lions scrum-half started legal action against the French club after they announced his sacking.

“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,” he said before describing himself as “disappointed and frustrated” by the club’s decision.

Phillips has been fired for, it has been alleged, turning up for a video analysis session under the influence of alcohol. Alain Afflelou, the Basque club’s chairman and major financial backer, confirmed the decision yesterday – and did so in no uncertain terms. “It was him or me,” he told a French newspaper. “If the decision hadn’t been taken, I could not have stayed. From the moment he let us down – his friends, coaches and supporters – it was not possible to keep him.

“I trusted him: I 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. This is treason. With all our problems at the moment, we did not need this type of behaviour. It could no longer be tolerated.”

This much is certain, Phillips cannot afford a long spell out of top-level rugby, for his place in the national team is far from secure. Lloyd Williams, the Cardiff Blues half-back, is a player of Test quality, and there is a good deal of excitement surrounding the uncapped Scarlets scrum-half Rhodri Williams.

James O’Connor, another one of world rugby’s troubled souls, is seeking to piece his career back together at London Irish, he will confirm today.

O’Connor, the multifaceted Australian back, richly talented in at least three positions, had his Wallaby contract terminated earlier this month after a number of off-field indiscretions, culminating in a brush with police while attempting to board a holiday flight in Perth.

His decision to head for Europe after failing to agree terms with the Super 15 team Western Force put a number of Premiership clubs on big-name alert, but the Exiles appear to be the best of fits. He will work with a fellow Australian in Brian Smith, the former England attack coach, and should feel at home in a melting- pot environment alongside players from Canada, New Zealand, Samoa and Tonga.

New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all