Wales back-row warrior Martyn Williams will embark on his third British and Irish Lions tour claiming: "We are capable of producing something special."
The Cardiff Blues flanker heads to South Africa later this month as part of a squad that has already been written off by many pundits.
But the 33-year-old is ready for anything the world champion Springboks can muster should he land a starting place in the Test side which eluded him in Australia (2001) and New Zealand (2005).
His one flirtation with a Lions Test match overseas came as a replacement in the ‘dead rubber’ clash against New Zealand at Eden Park, Auckland, four years ago.
And Williams, a veteran of 88 Wales caps, is not hiding from the acute degree of difficulty facing the 2009 Lions.
“Lions tours are difficult,” he acknowledged. “There is a very short space of time to prepare and try to gel. It is the ultimate challenge.
“But a lot of the senior players on this tour would have gone on the last one in 2005, so they will know what it is about.”
The Lions assemble at their Surrey training base on May 18, but the whole squad will not be together for another six days due to the Heinken Cup Final, which will occupy several players at Murrayfield on May 24.
“There isn’t going to be much preparation time,” he added. “But sometimes that can help because you can’t over-complicate things and you have got be very basic.
“I think that is what a Lions tour is about. You’ve got good players there and you’ve got to rely on them to make the right calls.
“In the past, the last two tours anyway, we over-trained and over-complicated things.
“There were so many coaches involved and they wanted their piece of meat.”
Williams was just finding his feet as an international player when the Lions last toured South Africa 12 years ago, having made his Wales debut in 1996.
Early indications are though, that McGeechan and tour manager Gerald Davies, especially, are looking to recapture that special spirit of ’97 when the Lions stunned South Africa as they recorded a 2-1 Test series triumph.
“It’s a fine balance between a tour in the professional era and also keeping that little bit of the old school about it,” Williams added.
“Everyone is writing us off and saying South Africa are red-hot favourites. They are world champions and they’ve got a pretty phenomenal squad.
“We are going in there as huge underdogs, but looking at the talent in the squad, there is no doubt we are capable of producing something special.
“It was a great relief to be selected, and it feels just as special as eight years ago.
“I am so glad to be on the tour, but the aim is to win the series.
“We will only have a couple of weeks before the Test series starts, so we will have to gel quickly.
“Only four successful Lions teams have won in South Africa, so to be part of a winning tour would be really special.”