Phillips wins Principality award

Ospreys wing Kristian Phillips has been awarded the Principality Premiership Player of the Month award for December.

The young flyer has been playing for Neath, and he scored tries against Llandovery and Aberavon in December - before his five try rout against Pontypool on January 2.

The 19-year old missed over six months of rugby after sustaining a dislocated shoulder while playing for the Ospreys against Leinster last season, returning to action earlier this season in the Premiership, with one LV= Cup appearance for the Ospreys this term,  against Northampton Saints at the Liberty Stadium.

Principality Premiership head coaches, WRU and Regional academy staff, and selected journalists select the winner who receives £100 from the Principality Building Society, title sponsors of the competition.

Phillips said:

"Neath are doing really well at the moment, the whole team is performing well which makes things easier for me and I've been lucky enough to be on the end of a few tries in recent weeks.

"Ospreys training is going well too and I'm hoping for a good international season for Wales Under 20s.

"Neath's been good for me because after returning from injury, I've been able to play a good standard of rugby week in, week out, gaining confidence and returning to a bit of form."

Phillips, who played all his junior rugby for Tonmawr RFC before joining the Ospreys academy and turning out for Ospreys and Wales at age grade level is hoping for more opportunities at Regional level.

"That would be the next step, but one thing at a time. I'm enjoying my rugby at Neath and hopefully if I have a big Six Nations with the Under 20s, that will be the springboard I need."

Neath head coach Patrick Horgan said:

"Kristian is fully deserving of this award. He has a great work ethic, and attitude, and his attacking ability is without question.

"He had a slow start to the season, but he is working hard on his game and developing all the time. I think the Premiership is the right place for Kristian at the moment but I'm sure it won't be too long before he graces the likes of the Heineken Cup and Magners League. We should certainly be in for an exciting Under 20 Six Nations with Kristian on the wing."