London Welsh turn to Phillips as Burnell departs Exiles’ hotseat

 
Ross McLean
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BELEAGUERED Premiership side London Welsh have appointed former player Rowland Phillips as their new head coach after previous incumbent Justin Burnell left the club yesterday.

The Exiles were promoted to rugby’s top flight last season but have endured a disastrous campaign which is almost certain to end in relegation, losing all 27 competitive matches including 17 league fixtures in which 800 points have been conceded. Ex-Neath RFC coach Phillips was a member of Wales’ 2007 World Cup coaching staff and initially joined London Welsh as their defence coach at the end of 2014.

“I am very proud to be leading the coaching of this great club,” he said. “It’s been a very tough season in the Premiership, trying to play with a squad built on an uneven financial playing field. But the boys are determined to rescue something.”

London Welsh have argued the odds are stacked against newly-promoted sides due to the Premiership’s shareholding system, with the Exiles receiving £2m less funding than more established clubs.