New British & Irish Lions captain Gareth Thomas has revealed his determination to turn the Test series on its head and cause a few overdue problems for the All Blacks.
Head coach Sir Clive Woodward is banking on Wales star Thomas’ infectious personality to help lift the gloom following last week’s first Test defeat.
Woodward knows there will be no second chances if the All Blacks repeat their victory in Christchurch this weekend, therefore clinching the series with one match remaining.
And the Lions have no option but to do it the hard way, with captain Brian O’Driscoll and flanker Richard Hill suffering tour-ending injuries last weekend and lock Danny Grewcock landing a two-month ban for biting All Blacks hooker Keven Mealamu.
Woodward has already put his cards on the table by making 11 changes, including four positional switches in a back division which sees Thomas at outside centre and Jonny Wilkinson returned to fly-half.
"We haven’t really shown anything yet as a back-line, we haven’t had chance to. We haven’t thrown anything at them yet," said Thomas.
"All the talk has been about them (New Zealand), and rightly so, because they were the better team last Saturday, but hopefully, if we can come and play then we can show some things to them that maybe they are not prepared for.
"I don’t think we can say we are going to change our strategy, because I think last Saturday we didn’t exactly play with much of a strategy.
"We are going to go out there and try to play this time, taking the game to them.
"And hopefully, come the end of the match on Saturday, the guys can stand there and look at each other and say at least we tried our best, whatever the result."
A Test series triumph in New Zealand would complete an astonishing season for Thomas, who began Wales’ Six Nations Grand Slam campaign as captain before injury struck, and then helped his club Toulouse lift the European Cup.
"It has helped me being at Toulouse," he said. "Playing for such a massive club with massive expectations, every game we play is against teams who want to go out and beat Toulouse.
"So I know what it is like to be under pressure, and I know what it is like when things are always against you. I think I am a much better player and a much better person as a result."