An internationally agreed and validated set of phages is used worldwide for the typing of strains of Staphylococcus aureus of human origin. However, because of the sometimes reduced susceptibility of methicillin-resistant strains (MRSA) to these phages, some of the national typing centres use locally isolated and characterized sets of experimental phages. In this trial, 42 such phages were distributed to 6 centres and tested against 744 isolates of MRSA with the intention of defining a phage set to augment the international set. The use of these experimental phages increased the percentage typability from 75% with the international set to 93% and the number of identifiable lytic patterns from 192 to 424. A subset of 10 experimental phages was selected. When this subset was compared with the experimental panel, the typability rate was 91% and 370 distinct patterns were obtained. This subset of phages has been distributed for international trial.