Michael Owen has challenged the British & Irish Lions to "set down a marker" for the 2005 tour of New Zealand with victory and a performance to be proud of in Monday’s Zurich Test against Argentina.
Owen was appointed captain on Wednesday for the historic game at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, just the latest achievement in a remarkable year for the Wales number eight.
The 24-year-old has developed from a utility forward into an inspirational force in the Wales Grand Slam side, captain of his country and now captain of the Lions.
But Owen will not allow himself to reflect on the grandeur of his personal achievements. There are more important goals lying ahead, with the Lions heading off to New Zealand next Wednesday to embark on the toughest of all tours.
The Argentina fixture breaks with tradition but the Pumas’ physical, committed style will give the Lions a perfect taste of what is to come.
And Owen called on his men to send out a message there will be no timid Lions in New Zealand this summer.
"Wales went to Argentina on their last summer tour. We drew 1-1 and it was extremely tough. We know Argentina are going to be very physical, very strong.
"We know it will be a fantastic occasion and we have just got to make sure we play well," said Owen.
"It has gone brilliantly for me this year. Meeting up with the Lions now is unbelievably exciting and we are all really looking forward to the game and looking forward to the tour.
"We are lucky enough to have an opportunity to play Argentina and we have to put a marker down for the rest of the tour.
"It’s important to set down a marker as a Lions team and as individuals as well. I think everyone wants to do that."