Williams: Thomas is irreplaceable

Wales flanker and British & Irish Lions contender Martyn Williams admitted it will be virtually impossible to replace injured captain Gareth Thomas for the remainder of the Six Nations. [more]

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Wales flanker and British & Irish Lions contender Martyn Williams admitted it will be virtually impossible to replace injured captain Gareth Thomas for the remainder of the Six Nations.

Prospective Lions skipper Thomas suffered a fractured thumb in Wales’ dramatic 24-18 victory over France and is set to have an operation on Monday to insert a plate and screws to help mend the break.

Thomas, nicknamed Alfie by his team-mates, will have to watch from the sidelines as Wales chase their first championship title since 1994 and a first Grand Slam since 1978.

"You are not going to replace Alfie. We are lucky we have so many talented backs but as a man, he is our skipper, he is our leader," said Williams.

"It is going to be a big, big loss to us. Hopefully we can pull through that and whoever comes in will step into his shoes and come in.

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"You can’t speak highly enough of Alfie. He has emphasised what it means to be a squad, that no-one is bigger than anyone else."

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