Welsh scrum-half Mike Phillips believes spirit in the camp will play a crucial role in on-field success

Last Updated: 17/05/13 12:01pm

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Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips believes embodying the values of previous British and Irish Lions tour is an essential part of the team bonding process.

Phillips is one of 15 Wales internationals to have made the Lions squad to tackle Australia next month.

Despite his country holding a majority in the travelling party Phillips quashed fears of any cliques emerging in the camp by highlighting a common reverence between players.

"With the Lions you're playing with players from other nations and you get to know them more off the field," the 30-year-old told Sky Sports.

"We all have respect for each other and it is a massive honour to be in the same squad as some of these players."

Having toured with the Lions in South Africa in 2009, Phillips understands the unity required and expects this year's squad will have the morale to go one step further and end the 16-year wait for a Test series victory.

"It was a great feeling four years ago, there was a good mood in the camp and everybody loved it before the devastating end as we narrowly missed out," he added.

"The values which we brought on that tour were superb and hopefully we can carry that on and even better in this tour to win."

World-class

While Phillips has a wealth of experience at international level his Lions teammate Mako Vunipola has burst onto the scene with his first England cap just six months ago.

Prop Vunipola admits being surrounding by world-class talent was initially daunting but is now relishing the opportunity to bond with his new colleagues.

"Not in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would be here around such amazing players and to be in this Lions squad is a massive privilege for me," the New Zealand born forward said.

"I have been star-struck a bit with all the players we have around but it's been enjoyable bonding with the boys and getting to know a few more players."

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