‘Competition keeps you on your toes’ – Phillips

Scarlets hooker Emyr Phillips will be one of the oldest members of the region’s Anglo-Welsh Cup squad for the challenge against Bath but the experienced hooker says that the competition is keeping everyone on their toes.

Phillips, 29, made his Anglo-Welsh Cup debut as a replacement seven years ago in the 15-15 draw game against Harlequins.

Phillips will make his 130th appearance on Friday evening but says that he’s still as fresh and excited about the challenges ahead as he was when he made his first regional appearance in 2009.

“I remember back in the day when I was given a chance in the Anglo-Welsh Cup and I was really excited and now you’ve got 18 year olds giving older guys a bit of stick! The young boys coming in learn a huge amount off boys like Peter Edwards and those.

“It’s nice to be thought of as a senior player this weekend. When you play with these young boys you have a massive boost throughout the week really, they bring so much energy to training, they pick everyone up.”

Scarlets have always been known to have a raft of hookers at their disposal and 2016-17 is no different. With Ken Owens on international duty and Phillips himself making his way back from injury 21 -year-old Ryan Elias has grabbed the number 2 shirt in recent weeks.

Waiting in the wings, behind these three, are 21-year-old Taylor Davies and 20-year-old Dafydd Hughes who play for Llanelli and Llandovery respectively.

“The competition keeps you on your toes. I’m learning stuff off the younger boys all the time. You can never ease off. When you get your chance you really have to put your hand up. The competition works well. There are a lot of boys who are wanting game time, they’re ready to step up. There’s been a huge energy in training this week and we’re really looking forward to this challenge.”