Historians have to go back 69 years and 33 matches for the last Welsh success over New Zealand, but the belief built up in the Welsh camp on the back of their victory over the reigning world champions in July has been crucial.
“When we won in South Africa for the first time it was awesome going back to the dressing room and seeing how happy the boys were. That was an historic feeling,” said Tompkins, who starts at centre alongside George North.
“If we could do it again this weekend it would be phenomenal, especially against the All Blacks. It took an unbelievable amount mentally and phsyically to beat the Springboks.
“That was a mentally tough challenge that we all pulled through well and gave a good account of ourselves. This is no different.
“It’s nice we’ve shown to each other what we can do in an environment like that. We are back home now and it’s a different challenge.
“There is no question we grew from that experience in South Africa. We showed ourselves what we can do and broke off the shackles.
“We found a bit of freedom and trust in what we are doing. It has really helped us in our environment and how we are treating each other. Because of that I think it can be closer this year than last. If we get our fundamentals right, work hard and tackle, you usually get a good result.”
New Zealand arrived in the Welsh capital as winners of the Rugby Championship once again. They may have lost a few more games than usual this year, but Tompkins doesn’t feel they have lost any of their aura.
“They haven’t lost their aura, but they have gone through a little transition phase,” added the Saracens midfield ace.
“I don’t think the All Blacks have regressed, it’s just that other teams have caught up with them. You have to have that optimistic mindset that you are going to get through them. Other teams have showed they can play at that standard, so we need to do so as well.
“You have to get all your fundamentals right to play against them. They are unbelievably good at their fundamentals – they are smart defensively, they have a great kicking game, and they are not just a throw-it-around team, which a lot of people make the mistake of thinking they are.
“Firstly, you have to get the breakdown right and then take every opportunity we can.”