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Tuesday, 17 July, 2001, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
'Hard-nosed' Henry's style divisive
Alan Phillips (l) will be looking at players' columns. Graham Henry is on the right of the picture.
Alan Phillips (l) will be looking at players' columns
Wales manager Alan Phillips says the alienation felt by some Lions may stem from Graham Henry's style of management.

The former Cadiff, Wales and Lions hooker will also speak to Wales' players about newspaper and internet columns before next season.

The Lions' tour was dogged by players' complaints and controversial columns and diaries.

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales Phillips said: "Graham is a Kiwi and a hard-nosed professional bloke who wants to get the job done.


If it damages team harmony then that's when it's wrong
Phillips on columns
"Sometimes they do forget about the people left behind."

But he also voiced support for his Wales coaching colleague Henry.

"I know from speaking to Donal Lenihan that the Lions management had set their stall out before the tour.

"They knew there would be no time for partying or enjoying themselves because if they wanted to beat the world champions sacrifices had to be made."

According to Phillips, certain players - including the England duo of Austin Healey and Matt Dawson - "could not handle the pressure" when things went wrong.

One of the major challenges now facing him is to motivate the large group of Welsh players who did not make the Lions Test side.

Donal Lenihan: Set out stall
Donal Lenihan: Set out stall
Several have hinted at their disillusionment.

Phillips insisted his job was to provide an ear for the players to moan into if they had problems.

And he urged Wales' players to look on the positive side of their achievements down under.

Flanker Colin Charvis had been disillusioned with his lack of starting opportunities despite gaining two Test caps.

Phillips said: "No disrespect to Colin because he is a fine player, but a lot of players have gone on a Lions tour and not even had a Test cap - better players than Colin.

"I hope he will now show Graham Henry and the Welsh public that he can be a better player than Richard Hill or Neil Back.

Colin Charvis should see his tour as a success
Colin Charvis should see his tour as a success
"Playing for Wales should be a motivating challenge for people."

Phillips is also looking to tackle the divisive issue of players' media columns and diaries.

Matt Dawson's and Austin Healey's now infamous scribblings proved an embarrassment to the Lions while they were in Australia.

Phillips said: "In a professional world no one can stop players writing books or columns.

"But if it damages team harmony then that's when it's wrong."

He will be speaking to the Welsh squad about their responsibilities in that area.

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Alan Phillips with BBC Wales' Nick Webb
"They had no time for people going out and partying"

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