- Oct 01, 1981
- Guildford (England)
- Back Row
Phil was one of the revelations of the 2009/10 season. His consistent excellence led to a selection in the Sky Sports Dream Team and nominations in the shortlists for both the Guinness Premiership Player of the Season and RPA Players' Player of the Season.
There were a hat-trick of Player of the Month awards too, and calls all round for his inclusion in the England team. Not forgetting, of course, the honour of lifting the LV= Cup after captaining the Saints to a 30-24 win over Gloucester in one of the games of the season.
Although chosen in the Saxons squad for the 2010 Churchill Cup, Phil received a call-up to England's full Australian tour hours before he was due to play against Russia.
The former Newcastle Falcon of 128 appearances quickly racked up a half-century with the Saints, taking just 18-months and committed his future to the club, signing a contract extension.
Top of the stats again and a regular on the scoresheet at the start of 2011/12, Phil's form proved hard to ignore for England interim head coach Stuart Lancaster who awarded the 31-year-old a long overdue and triumphant first cap against Scotland at Murrayfield.
Phil was again involved over the summer of 2012, including on England's tour of South Africa, also skippering his country against the Barbarians at Twickenham.
With the flanker proving as consistent as ever in 2012/13, a new contract ensured Phil would take his stay at the Gardens into a fifth season and beyond, while a century in black, green and gold was marked with a man of the match performance in a victory at Newport.