British & Irish Lions centre Gavin Henson admits he is "absolutely devastated" to play no part in the first Test – but has vowed to "show what I am made of" against Southland on Tuesday.
The Wales star’s inclusion in the midweek team means he is not in Sir Clive Woodward’s immediate plans for Saturday’s clash with the All Blacks, but the 23-year-old is determined to put on a good show in Invercargill to press his claims for the second and third Tests.
"When Clive read out the team for the Southland game I was absolutely devastated," he said.
"It was really hard to take in because I thought I had a chance of making the Test side, or at least the 22, so to be told I wasn’t involved came as such a shock.
"I take my game very seriously and this will take me a while to get over. I didn’t sleep at all well last night.
"At least I have a game (on Tuesday), which will help me get it out of my system. It means I can straight away get back to what I do best.
"The worst thing would be to just be sitting in a hotel room thinking about it. I really need this game (against Southland) and of course I have to keep playing, try to press for a Test place later in the tour.
"I had a proper chat with Clive and he told me he doesn’t have a problem with the way I’m playing and he said he just wanted to go with experience for the Test. There are 45 players on tour and the coaches have to make the decisions in the end. I understand that.
"It’s a bit like when I got left out of the World Cup.
"Back then I felt really low. I don’t want that to happen again and luckily there are three Tests. You just don’t know what will happen.
"All I can do is try to play well. I have a point to prove. I want to show everyone what I am capable of. Right now I’m just gutted."