Rowland Phillips has vowed to salvage whatever he can from London Welsh’s miserable season after taking over as the club’s head coach.

The 49-year-old, who joined Welsh as the defence coach in November, replaced the axed Justin Burnell with immediate effect yesterday.

He will take charge for the first time against Bath on March 29 – when the Exiles’ Aviva Premiership relegation looks certain to be confirmed.

Oxford-based Welsh have lost all 27 of their league and cup matches this season, picking up just one bonus point in a torrid campaign.

And Phillips has five games to ensure the Exiles do not become, statistically, the worst club in top-flight history.

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Phillips, who captained the club during a two-year spell in 1997 and 1998 and was capped ten times by Wales, is relishing the opportunity.

He said: “I am very proud to be leading the coaching of this great club.

“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 from this season.