Assistant coach Rob Howley believes Justin Marshall's shock departure from the Ospreys will ultimately help Mike Phillips become a better player.
Former All Black Marshall has often been preferred to Phillips at scrum-half, but his decision to leave the Liberty Stadium for top-flight French club Montpellier has seemingly opened the door for Phillips to get more game time.
It is a situation that Howley predicts will make Phillips a better player. He told the Western Mail: “When we were in South Africa, one of the discussions we had as a management team was about the scrum-half situation.
“We knew the likelihood was that Mike would have to fight with Justin for matches at the Ospreys and there was also the factor of Dwayne Peel being at Sale and Gareth Cooper at Gloucester.
“Now, though, it is great to have the number one scrum-half from the Six Nations playing in Wales and getting a greater share of matches.
“Sometimes you have a situation where scrum-halves play a match and then have two or three weeks off. It causes rustiness for a player and you lose your consistency and your rhythm.
“Mike will still be under pressure from Dwayne, Gareth and others, but it will be interesting to see how he responds to the situation with Marshall no longer there. There’ll be obvious positives for him and for Wales.”