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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 June, 2005, 23:51 GMT 00:51 UK
Thomas takes on Lions captaincy
Gareth Thomas
Welshman Gareth Thomas has been appointed as the Lions skipper for the remainder of the New Zealand tour following Brian O'Driscoll's injury.

O'Driscoll's tour was abruptly ended by a dislocated shoulder barely a minute into the opening Test in Christchurch.

Boss Sir Clive Woodward said: "We are going to need big characters out there who can dig deep and show real fight and courage and Gareth has that.

"He is an outstanding player and a natural leader."

Thomas looked forward to a resurgence from his team following the dismal performance in the opening Test.

"This is a squad of great players with a lot of fight in them and we are going to put disappointment behind us and show the world what we are made of," he said.

"It is an unbelievable honour for me to be named captain for the rest of the tour, it was fantastic being chosen for the Lions' tour in the first place.

The fact that Brian was put out of the game in the way that he was will fire every single one of us to get out there and do better in the second and third Tests
Gareth Thomas

"To be captain is beyond any dreams I ever had as a kid.

"And the New Zealanders better understand I will be around a lot longer than a couple of minutes."

Thomas added that the squad were determined to win the series for O'Driscoll, whose tour was ended in controversial circumstances by what Woodward called a "double spear-tackle" from Keven Mealamu and All Blacks captain Tana Umaga.

The match citing commissioner ruled that the two players had no case to answer.

"The whole squad is devastated for Brian," Thomas said.

"He is a great player and a great bloke, and to lose him as our captain is a big blow.

"The fact that he was put out of the game in the way that he was will fire every single one of us to get out there and do better in the second and third Tests."




LIONS TOUR 2005

ALL BLACKS WHITEWASH LIONS




VOTE RESULTS
What was the main reason for the Lions' whitewash in NZ?
All Blacks just too good
58%
Woodward's selections
30%
Injuries to key players
6%
Squad was too big
6%
97190 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

Vote now closed



SEE ALSO
Lions delay naming Manawatu team
26 Jun 05 |  Lions in NZ
Angry Woodward calls for review
26 Jun 05 |  Lions in NZ
Hill's career on line over injury
26 Jun 05 |  Lions in NZ
Pick your Lions XV
24 May 05 |  Lions in NZ
Lions tour venue guides
18 May 05 |  Lions in NZ
Early history of the Lions
18 May 05 |  Lions in NZ
Fixture list for Lions tour to NZ
08 Apr 05 |  Lions in NZ
Lions player profiles
25 May 05 |  Lions in NZ
All Blacks player profiles
25 May 05 |  Lions in NZ


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