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Focus on Tahs not on Nick Phipps, says Will Genia

REDS halfback Will Genia has played down the importance of his individual battle with opposing No.9 Nick Phipps ahead of Saturday night's home clash against arch rivals the Waratahs.

Phipps excelled at the scrum base during the New South Wales outfit's Super Rugby title-winning 2014 season, leading to him being selected as the Wallabies' number nine ahead of the Queensland playmaker.

Genia's form in this campaign has been solid, but the 58-Test veteran said he wasn't focused on getting one up on Phipps in front of Waratahs coach Michael Cheika, who also doubles as the Wallabies mentor.

"I think as a halfback you rarely come across one-on-one opportunities; it's more a case of how you can influence your team as far as managing them around the park," Genia (pictured) said.

"For me I just enjoy playing New South Wales more so than anyone individually, and that's a big motivating factor this weekend. It's a Queensland-New South Wales derby and I'm really looking forward to it."

Genia added he would not set out to impress Cheika.

"At this stage you don't see him as the Wallaby coach," he said.

"You go there and just see a blue jersey and he's a part of that team (the Waratahs) and he's part of what that jersey represents. In essence he's the enemy ... and that's the reality of it."

Reds coach Richard Graham said Genia's form had been excellent so far this year, largely due to making a later start to his pre-season and becoming a first-time father in January.



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