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Last Updated: Monday, 22 May 2006, 14:33 GMT 15:33 UK
Wales land Phillips for Pumas job
Neath coach Rowland Phillips
Phillips has led Neath to back-to-back Premiership titles
Neath coach Rowland Phillips will go on Wales' two-Test tour of Argentina in June as the defence coach.

The former Wales back-row man, 40, could take the role full-time, possibly in combination with his Neath job.

"To be involved in the senior Wales set-up is a huge honour - I was shocked to be asked," Phillips said.

Wales now have a full complement of coaches, after Robin McBryde and Neil Jenkins were announced on Wednesday as the forwards and kicking coaches.

All three men are now in pole position to make their positions permanent in new coach Gareth Jenkins' backroom staff.

But Phillips says he is not looking beyond doing a job in Argentina to the best of his abilities, although he admits he would be keen on a longer commitment.

"The focus won't be to try and secure my future in this role, my focus will be just to go out there and have a structured defence for the Test matches.

"Once we get back from there it's not just down to me, it'll be down to a lot of people to make decisions on that - we'll make decisions on that if and when it arises."

Jenkins, who arrives in the Wales job along with Llanelli Scarlets right-hand man Nigel Davies as his attack coach, has been searching for some time for a defence coach.

One possible replacement for ex-Wales defence coach Clive Griffiths was Saracens' Mike Ford, but he seems set to join the England set-up.

Phillips has claimed back-to-back Principality Premiership titles with Neath, and also led the semi-professional side to the Konica Minolta Cup final this season.

Neath rewarded Phillips with a new three-year contract in May, but he may now be spirited away from the Gnoll by the national side.

Back-row Phillips won 10 caps for Wales from 1987-90 and spent most of his playing career at Neath.

He took over the Welsh All Blacks in 2003 when Lyn Jones left to coach the newly formed Ospreys regional side.

SEE ALSO
Phillips takes Neath reins
19 Jun 03 |  Welsh
BBC Wales Sport coverage
03 May 05 |  Wales
Welsh league rugby archive
11 Mar 03 |  Welsh
WRU Challenge Cup archive
12 Sep 03 |  Welsh


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