I had the opportunity to ask a few questions to ex- Welsh Rugby international Mike Phillips this week. The now resident of Dubai is embracing all aspects of life here in the Middle East.
Phillips, aged 36, is the most capped scrum-half for Wales and he has not shied away from sharing his rugby expertise whilst here in the UAE. Mike has taken on the role of director of Rugby at Jebel Ali Dragons, in addition to the ‘Mike Phillips Rugby Academy’ which is aimed at building upon the already strong rugby culture here, “I’m learning everyday about what my philosophies are in Rugby, coaching wise, I’m still adapting to that”.
Mike believes Dubai is one of the best places to be post-rugby career, “it’s an amazing place, so much to do, so much going on, it was more the wife’s decision to come here, so whatever she says, I do!”.
When asked about how club or international rugby prepared him for the prospect of life after playing, Mike admits this is still an area which could be worked on by both parties “they don’t really help you that much in all honesty, but I guess its up to your own devices, I remember chatting to a very successful team mate of mine who said to concentrate on the now, the next Saturday, the next competition, the next World Cup or Six Nations because that is the most important thing.”
With regards to the upcoming World Cup, the Welshman believes the Welsh team are moving in the right direction but with the England, Ireland and New Zealand teams in the mix, it is going to be a close competition, “England will always be tough to beat and Ireland are one of the best teams in the world, especially after beating the All Blacks”.
If you know of a boy or girl, aged 5-14, make sure you point them in the direction of the Christmas Camp hosted by the Mike Phillips Rugby Academy taking place at Kent College School.