Will Genia: Mike Phillips is "an exceptional player"

Genia: Phillips is
© AP Photos
Will Genia is full of praise for British and Irish Lions' scrum-half Mike Phillips.

Australia scrum-half Will Genia has admitted that his British and Irish Lions opposite number Mike Phillips is "an exceptional player" ahead of Saturday's first Test between the sides.

Genia said that while he will not have a direct battle with Phillips, he expects whoever plays better on the day to have a big impact on the match.

"He's an exceptional player," Genia told Sky Sports News. "He's a physical, abrasive character. He likes to get stuck in.

"As far as individual battles go, you very rarely as half-backs come into contact with each other.

"There's no real one-on-one opportunities with each other, it's more just doing as well as you can for your team and having a positive influence, rather than trying to do too much and outdo the other bloke."

The game kicks off at 11.05am on Saturday.

British and Irish Lions' Mike Phillips scores a try against the Barbarians on June 1, 2013
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