Fly-half Dan Biggar says Wales have a “fabulous chance” of beating world champions New Zealand on their three-Test trip there in June.
But he says Wales must “play out of our skins” to do so.
Wales hammered Italy 67-14 to finish second in the 2016 Six Nations behind Grand Slam winners England.
“You can have your red-tinted glasses on as much as possible, but I think overall England were the best side in the tournament,” said Biggar.
The 26-year-old Osprey is now looking forward to facing the All Blacks, who will be without retired Test stars Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith.
He told BBC Wales Today: “I think the gap is closing and I think we’ve got a fabulous chance in the summer of picking up a scalp, albeit against the world champions in their own back yard.
“They are a fantastic team – we would have to play out of our skins to pick up a result.
“But if we go down there thinking ‘we’ve got no chance’ we may as well not bother going.”
Wales have not beaten the All Blacks since 1953 and Biggar says it will be interesting to see how New Zealand respond in their first Tests since beating Australia in the 2015 World Cup final at Twickenham.
“They’ve lost a lot of experience and a lot of good players, but as always with New Zealand, they unearth some absolute beauties.
“It’s the toughest challenge in world rugby and for us to go there, we have to be absolutely on the money for everything we do.”
However, Biggar says he and his team-mates are aware “New Zealand aren’t going to allow us as much time and space” as Italy did.
Painful to admit England’s superiority
He admitted it was painful to accept Eddie Jones’ side were the best team in the tournament.
“It wasn’t a success, finishing second,” said Biggar.
“We set ourselves standards a lot higher than that and unless we win it, it will be deemed as a failure.
“It was a tough 40 minutes against England, which really cost us the championship and overall I think we played some good rugby.”
Pattern of play set in stoen
Wales coach Warren Gatland has highlighted their attempts to change their style of play.
Biggar accepts it did not always come to fruition as they drew with Ireland and beat Scotland and France before losing to England.
“It’s difficult really, because we’ve got such a set-in-stone sort of pattern in which we play,” said Biggar.
“But the coaches have always said ‘whenever it’s on, if you’re on your own goal line and you’ve got a 3 v 2, throw the ball; if it goes wrong, we’re not going to blame you’.
“So I think that’s a real positive and the coaching staff work extremely hard.
“But I think first of all as a nation and as a team we have to make sure we’re good at what we’re good at – doing the basics well.
“We’re trying to play a little bit of rugby, of course.
“But sometimes, like against France, it’s about knuckling down, rolling your sleeves up and producing a win.”