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Tuesday 21 November 2017

Phillips hails best No8 Heaslip as Ospreys eye Magners title

Mike Phillips has hailed Leinster powerhouse Jamie Heaslip as one of the best number eights in the world ahead of Saturday's Magners League Grand Final with the Ospreys.

Heaslip was crowned as the Irish province's Player of the Year last week to seal a stunning season for the back-rower.

The British Lions pair linked up to devastating effect on the field during last summer's tour to South Africa and then off it, sharing a week-long trip to Las Vegas.

But, although Phillips has praised his close pal, the Ospreys scrum-half insists he is hell-bent on making history with a third league title for the Welsh region at the RDS.

Phillips, 27, said: "There is a lot of respect between the Ospreys and Leinster lads who went on the Lions and we mixed well on tour.

"I even went on holiday with Jamie to Vegas afterwards. He's a confident and vocal player who has been in great form and is one of the best around at the moment. Jamie's a great ball-carrier and we'll have to stop him at source. This match will be full on."

Leinster have not lost in Dublin since September 2008 when Munster whitewashed Michael Cheika's men by 18 points and Phillips is aware of the Ospreys' tough ask.

"Teams have found going to Dublin difficult in recent times but we're really confident. We've already won in Munster, Ulster and Connacht this season and now we have a great chance of creating our own history."

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