Phillips insists Wales must put the pride back in the Three Feathers against New Zealand
Mike Phillips insists Wales must put the pride back in the Three Feathers against New Zealand.
The Grand Slam champions have come under pressure after defeats against Argentina and Samoa stretched their losing streak to five.
They face the All Blacks at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday and Phillips admits Wales have to bounce back.
"We know we're going to get a lot of flak but it's important we show we can stand up. We have to be strong.
"It's quite a young group and a lot of them haven't experienced something like this before. But the senior players have and we can bounce back - we've done it in the past and we can do it again.
"We're young and have had a lot of injuries, which has been unfortunate, but we can't look for excuses because we're bigger than that. These things make you stronger and we have to be positive and learn from this.
"New Zealand is a chance to put some pride back in the jersey and we have to do that. We have to show people that we're proud to pull that jersey on."
Wales have failed to overcome the world champions in 59 years but will be led by Warren Gatland in their final two autumn clashes.
Phillips has defended interim head coach Rob Howley, and insists the players must take the blame, but he admits the return of Gatland will be a boost.
"The players on the pitch have to stand up," added Phillips.
"We're the ones making silly mistakes, dropping the ball and giving silly penalties away.
"It's fine margins. It's the players that have to stand up. We are off on a lot of things. You have to get the basics of rugby right. We have to improve these things."
"But it will be a boost to have him back. We have a great management team, all the players respect them and want to play well for them and the Welsh public."
Meet the members of the WRU's inaugural Youth Board - after an online selection process which saw a host of high calibre candidates submit video applications the WRU has made its first 15 appointments.The board is made up of individuals aged between 16 and 21, and will meet for the first time at Principality Stadium on Monday 15th February.
The Wales Women's team headed to Dare Valley Country Park on a team bonding exercise as the entire squad got together for the very first time in preparation for this season's Six Nations championship which kicks off on Saturday with a clash against defending champions Ireland, in Donnybrook.
Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland discusses his team selection for the opening round of the RBS 6 Nations where he leads his side against Ireland, on Sunday. As WRU TV's Luke Brodley discovers, Gatland is fully aware of the challenges the defending champions pose