Fast start key for Phillips
Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips has highlighted the importance of winning Saturday's opening Test against Australia in Brisbane.
The Bayonne star might have two Grand Slams under his belt but he has yet to taste success against the Wallabies.
That is something Phillips, part of the advance guard of 16 players sent Down Under to prepare for Saturday's first of three Tests against the reigning Tri-Nations champions, wants to change over the coming weeks.
And Phillips knows it is vital that Wales gets their tour off to a fast start.
"The first Test is so important - nail that one and you get some momentum. We have to give everything we've got in Brisbane and then push on from there," he said.
"This series is a massive opportunity for us and we know how huge it would be if we could get a couple of wins. We have very high standards and everyone is driving each other on.
"It's all about winning and we want to carry on in that way and move to the next level. We want to push on and get the next big scalp.
"We're up against one of the best sides in the world and we respect their place in world rugby. But we are in good shape to hopefully challenge them over the three Tests in the next few weeks."
Phillips, Wales' second most capped No.9 behind Dwayne Peel, will be a key figure in the push for a first Welsh win over a Tri-Nations team away from home since 1987 against Australia in the third place play-off game at the World Cup.
And his battle against Australia ace Will Genia will be one of the highlights of the series a year out from the British and Irish Lions 125th anniversary tour of Australia.
Phillips is the incumbent Lions scrum-half, having started all three Tests in South Africa in 2009, and is the leading candidate for the role again next year.
Genia has enjoyed four straight wins over Wales and joined forces with Quade Cooper to spearhead Queensland Reds to Super 14 glory last summer.
He has had to play without Cooper for most of this season because of the knee injury his half-back suffered against Wales in the third-place play-off at the World Cup, but the two could be back in harness for the series against Wales.
"Will Genia is a real catalyst for them and he dictates the way they play. He is a major threat for them and pulls the strings for them," said Phillips.
"But throughout the side they have some wonderful ball-playing forwards and their backs can cut the line. It means our defence will have to be massive as they have threats all over the park.
"It really is an exciting challenge for us and it is one we want to match up to.
"We've all enjoyed the experience of winning in a Welsh jersey this year and coming on the back of a Grand Slam campaign this is a very exciting trip."