Full name Gareth Thomas
Born July 25, 1974, Ogwr
Current age 40 years 344 days
Major teams British and Irish Lions, Cardiff Blues, Toulouse, Wales
Position Utility back
Height 6 ft 3 in
Weight 226 lb
|British and Irish Lions||2005-2005||3||3||0||5||1||0||0||0||0||3||0||0.00|
|IRB Rugby World Cup||1995-2007||14||11||3||35||7||0||0||0||6||8||0||42.85|
|Test debut||Japan v Wales at Bloemfontein, May 27, 1995 match details|
|Last Test||Fiji v Wales at Nantes, Sep 29, 2007 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Most tries | Tournament list|
A legend in Welsh rugby, Gareth Thomas surpassed Gareth Llewellyn as the most-capped Wales player with his 100th appearance in the 2007 World Cup match against Fiji.
Nicknamed 'Alfie', Thomas plays at fullback, wing or centre for the Cardiff Blues and most recently at fullback for his country.
Thomas created history when becoming the first Welshman to win 100 caps in Rugby Union, scoring a try as Wales lost to Fiji. He also therefore became the first player to lose on his 100th international appearance.
A prolific try scorer at international level, Thomas is listed ninth in the world on the all-time Test try scoring list.
'Alfie' made his debut for Wales on 27 May 1995 against Japan and scored a Welsh record-equalling four tries in the match against Italy in Treviso in 1999; one of only seven players to achieve that feat for his country.
He held the Wales record for the most international tries with 40 until Shane Williams surpassed that total in the 2008 Six Nations, but still retains the record for most Test appearances for his country. He also got a hat-trick of tries in the second Test against Japan in 2001; 51 appearances after announcing his arrival on the international scene with a hat-trick in the 1995 World Cup game against the same opposition. Equally at home at centre, it was from that position he scored the longest intercept try ever seen at the Arms Park, a 90 metre dash against Australia in 1996.
Thomas was selected for the British & Irish Lions Tour of New Zealand in 2005. Following injury to Brian O'Driscoll in the opening minutes of the first Test against New Zealand, he was made captain for the second and third Tests of the series, becoming the ninth Welsh skipper in Lions history.
Thomas was named as captain for Wales' final match in the 2007 Six Nations against England after then captain Stephen Jones was ruled out with a broken wrist. When Thomas took the field, he equalled Llewellyn's Wales record of 92 caps. He then broke Llewellyn's record when he led Wales out against Australia at Telstra Stadium in Sydney on 26 May 2007, a match that Wales lost 29-23 to a Wallabies try after the siren.
Thomas's rise to international stardom began at Bridgend RFC. He moved to Pontypridd, but never actually played a game for them before re-signing for Bridgend.
He then spent a spell at Cardiff RFC in 1997 before again rejoining Bridgend in 2001 when he captained them to a dominant Welsh Premier Division title in 2003. After his success at Bridgend, Thomas joined the Celtic Warriors when the Welsh Rugby Union implemented its regional rugby plans for the 2003-04 season.
After one season as captain of the Warriors, the region were disbanded by the then-WRU chief David Moffett and owner Leighton Samuel, although Thomas had already agreed a deal to join French club Toulouse where he was seen as the ideal replacement for soon-to-retire captain Emile N'Tamack.
One of the greatest achievements in Thomas's distinguished career came when he helped the club to Heineken Cup glory in 2005 with victory over Stade Français at Murrayfield.
On 20 January 2007, Cardiff Blues completed a deal to bring Thomas back to Wales for the 2007-08 season. This move wasn't without controversy as his former employers Toulouse claimed that he had registered to play with them during that season.
Thomas settled into life with the Blues quickly and established himself as a valued member of the squad. In December 2009 he admitted in an interview with the Daily Mail newspaper that he is gay, detailing the support that he found from team-mates Stephen Jones and Martyn Williams and also from the Blues' staff. In March 2010 Thomas opted to switch codes, joining Super League side Crusaders on a short-term deal.
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