Thomas said: "The whole squad is devastated for Brian. 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 than we did last night.
"Brian would be the first to say we have to get over the disappointment of losing him in those dreadful circumstances, and get on with the job of preparing for Tuesday's match and then the second Test. It is an unbelievable honour for me to be named captain for the rest of the Tour. And the New Zealanders better understand I will be around a lot longer than a couple of minutes.
"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. It was fantastic being chosen for the Lions Tour in the first place. To be captain is beyond any dreams I ever had as a kid."