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."
Wales and Ospreys back row James King, who came through the North Wales age grade system, nominated North Wales Regional Community Rugby Manager Marc Roberts, in the WRU's 'Diolch' initiative where squad players thanked those who played a part in their rise to the top.
Beating Merthyr has boosted Carmarthen Quins hopes of reaching a top eight spot in the Principality Premiership. Quins captain Haydn Pugh is delighted with his team's progress and is determined that everyone from the Under 6s through to the senior team, enjoys the ride.
When the Wales squad were asked to nominate individuals who played a big part in their early playing days, Wales and Dragons full back and wing Hallam Amos thought of his former Monmouth School rugby coach John Bevan.
Sam Cross and Luke Treharne have been named as co-captains of the Wales Sevens side as head coach Gareth Williams names his 12-man squad to play in the first leg of the HSBC World Series in Dubai next weekend.
Bedwas head coach Steve Law and players Nicky Griffiths and Alun Rees extol the virtues of the close knit club as they prepare to host third place RGC 1404 - who are one place head of them on the Principality Premiership points table - on Saturday.
Many of the Wales squad have said Diolch (thank you) to someone who played an important part in their early playing days by nominating them to be invited to the Wales v South Africa match. One person, Gowerton Comprehensive geography teacher Mr Dean Mason was nominated by two of his former pupils, Dan Biggar and Sam Davies.
The second WRU disability rugby pilot has been delivered, this time in Caerphilly schools, culminating in a festival at the Caerphilly Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach tomorrow. Plans are in place to set up a Disability Rugby Club in Newbridge to provide long-term playing opportunities.
WRU TV: Hear from inside the Wales camp as Neil Jenkins discusses this weekend's clash with South Africa and how the squad are looking to put in a strong performance to round of the 2016 Under Armour Series