British and Irish Lions: Mike Phillips devastated by omission from second Test line-up
Last Updated: 30/06/13 11:20am
Mike Phillips: Upset at missing out on second Test with Australia
Mike Phillips admits he was devastated to be left out of the British and Irish Lions team for the second Test with Australia in Melbourne.
The Wales scrum-half lost his place to Ben Youngs for the 16-15 defeat having started in the first Test win in Brisbane.
Phillips has been struggling with a knee injury although that wasn't seen as a factor in head coach Warren Gatland's decision to drop him.
He did not even get the opportunity to impress as a replacement, with Ireland's Conor Murray coming off the bench to replace Youngs after 53 minutes.
"When (Lions assistant coach) Rob Howley told me I hadn't been selected for the second Test it was absolutely devastating news," Phillips told The Mail on Sunday.
"My heart sank and I had a weird feeling in my stomach. It was incredibly hard to watch from the stands on Saturday, especially after being involved last week.
"Rob said the coaches had taken the decision to rest me from Saturday's game because of my knee, but I'm a proud man and I still felt I could have done a job for the team.
"I had an injection on Tuesday with the aim to be fit for the second Test.
"The reaction to it has been great but unfortunately the coaches decided not to play me. It's frustrating, but ultimately I have to respect the coaches' decision."
Phillips must now wait to see if he gets the nod for the deciding Test with Australia in Sydney on Saturday.
"I'm desperate to play next week, of course, but whether the coaches make that call is up to them.," he added.
"They know the extent of the injury to my knee and it's their call if I play. If they ask me to, I will.
"I've just got to get myself 100 per cent right and train hard and make sure I'm in the frame for selection for the third Test."