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'Sorry' Phillips to return for Wales

Mike Phillips' indefinite suspension from Wales squad duties has ended.

The 28-year-old was banned "with immediate effect" on June 17 following an incident involving the scrum-half in Cardiff city centre.

However, Phillips met Wales Rugby Union bosses yesterday and apologised, leading to a statement from the WRU which confirmed he would be allowed to return to the squad and take part in World Cup training from today.

Bayonne-bound Phillips, who is not facing any criminal action in relation to the incident, said: "This is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to me in my career. I am ashamed to have let myself get into this kind of situation and I am determined to put things right.

"I have apologised to my team-mates and the coaching staff in the Welsh squad and would like to take this opportunity to do exactly the same to the Welsh rugby public and anyone else who has been offended by this or other episodes."


IRELAND'S young boxers suffered mixed fortunes on the opening day of the European Junior Championships in Keszthely, Hungary yesterday.

Caoimhin Hynes and Martin Conroy advanced to the quarter-finals following 12-6 and 11-2 wins over Florin Nasast of Romania and Toni Filipi of Croatia.

But Kurt Walker, Hughie Joyce and Rory Lavery bowed out. Walker and Lavery were beaten by Russian opponents and Joyce was edged out by one point against Victor Petrov of the Ukraine.

The championships continue today. Ireland are using a 13-strong squad in Hungary.


The Republic of Ireland will take on the role of the underdog tonight when they clash with hosts Braga in the final of the UEFA Regions Cup in northern Portugal.

Manager Gerry Smith has a full squad to pick from for Ireland's first appearance in the final of this competition.

Smith is expected to make just one change to the team that defeated Russia on Sunday evening, with Ross Carrig coming back into the starting 11 for Paul McCabe.

Braga came through their group with three wins from their three games but Smith said: "Our mantra all week has been to not focus on anyone else, just ourselves. We are the underdogs. It's a one-off game, it's 11 v 11, though."

Ireland (probable) -- O'Connell; Higgins, Hoey, Walsh, Carrig; Barbour, Loughran, Whelehan, Dunne; O'Sullivan, Lacey.

Irish Independent