Yorkshire Carnegie stalwart Phil Nilsen will become only the third player in the club’s history to play 200 games for the club in all competitions when the hooker takes to the field at London Scottish this Saturday.
Phil is the longest serving player at the club and is now third in the all-time appearance list behind only Mike Shelley and Rob Rawlinson having over taken Tom Palmer this season.
He is a product of the club’s successful Academy and since making his debut in 2006. When he began his career at the club he was originally a back rower but he switched to the front row.
In 2004 he was part of the National Colts Final winning team and in 2005 he helped the Carnegie pick up the Yorkshire Senior Cup. He was named in Stuart Lancaster’s first senior squad ahead of the 2006-07 season and made his debut for the club in the high pressure game against Cornish Pirates.
He featured in the next two league games, coming on from the bench, before making his first start against Bedford. He marked the occasion with his first try for the club. In total he made three starts and six substitute appearances, with injury hindering his involvement in the first team for long periods of the season.
In the 2007-08 he spent time on loan with Otley but returned to Headingley Carnegie to make five appearances before an arm injury ruled him out of action. In 2009-10 he was part of the Championship winning squad, making 19 appearances over the campaign.
During the 2011-12 season he made eight starts and a further 13 replacement appearances and enjoyed one of his best seasons for the club. He backed this up with another impressive campaign in 2012-13, battling with Joe Graham and Scott Freer for the starting hooking spot and making 22 appearances and scoring tries against Plymouth and Bedford Blues.
In the past three seasons he has been a mainstay of the side culminating in him being named the Supporters Player Of the Year and winning the Colin Cramphorn Memorial Trophy in his testimonial year at the club.