Six Nations: Mike Phillips praises wing sensation George North

George North and Mike Phillips
George North and Mike Phillips were stars for Wales at the World Cup

RBS Six Nations: Wales v Scotland

Venue:
Millennium Stadium
Date:
12 February
Kick-off:
1500 GMT
Coverage:
Live on BBC TV, radio and online

Mike Phillips has hailed George North's impact on Test rugby after the teenager inspired Wales to a thrilling win in their Six Nations opener in Ireland.

Wales' teenage sensation scored one and created another as the Welsh battled back to beat Ireland in Dublin and set up a possible Championship title tilt.

North has scored 10 tries in his first 17 Tests and Wales boss Warren Gatland praised his 'world class' ability.

"He's got total star quality, which not many players have," said Phillips.

"He has it in abundance - he can just turn games."

Ireland's Grand Slam and Triple Crown hopes in the Six Nations were ripped to shreds on Sunday after 19-year-old North cut loose in the second-half.

North's heroics at the Aviva Stadium was only his second Six Nations appearance and the Scarlets star, compared to legendary All Blacks legendary wing Jonah Lomu after scoring three tries in the 2011 World Cup, is preparing for his first Championship appearance at the Millennium Stadium when Scotland visit Cardiff on Sunday.

Phillips won the official man-of-the-match award in Wales' 23-21 win over Ireland but had the Wales scrum-half been the judge, North would taken the honour after a display praised as "absolutely world class" by Gatland.

The 6ft 4in wing, who has only made 20 starts for his club such is his stunning introduction on the international stage, has a Test strike-rate not far short of Wales' recently retired record try-scorer Shane Williams.

Nigel Davies has already described North as a "once in a generation" player and the Scarlets coach admits that "vultures are circling" his star man.

And Phillips added: "It's great to have someone like George around.

"He works tremendously hard on his game, he has tremendous talent, and he is a great bloke as well.

"But he is also a a totally down-to-earth guy. He is not big-headed in any way.

"I gave everything and worked hard for the team on Sunday, although I don't think I deserved the man-of-the-match award.

Wales coach Warren Gatland

"There were so many boys who played well, but a couple of touches by George were world class."

Wales now play three of their remaining four Six Nations games at home, raising expectancy levels among their supporters that the Gatland's men can win a first Grand Slam since their 2008 title.

Scotland were beaten 13-6 by England at Murrayfield on Saturday but arrive in Cardiff two years after outplaying their hosts before Wales rallied late on to clinch a dramatic 31-24 success.

"Scotland will be feeling sorry for themselves after the England game," said Bayonne number nine Phillips.

"They are a wounded animal. We have got to show them tremendous respect in how we prepare this week.

"We could have dropped our heads in Dublin but we showed great composure and belief in ourselves and it was a top win.

"The first game of a Six Nations is all about winning, and we have got that under our belts now. All the boys are buzzing, everyone has got a spring in their step."

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