Alfie honoured by Rugby League

Former Lions captain Gareth Thomas has received yet another accolade, this time in Rugby League. [more]

Alfie honoured by Rugby League

Former Lions captain Gareth Thomas has received yet another accolade, this time in Rugby League.

The man who led the Lions in Brian O’Driscoll’s absence in 2005 has been named as one of five personalities of the year in the 13-man version of the sport.

Thomas only switched codes last season but he made a big impact with his move to fledgling Welsh outfit the Crusaders.

The 35-year-old Grand Slam winner came out as the first high-profile openly gay rugby player and helped the Crusaders to an unexpected Play-Off spot in his first year in Super League.

Although Thomas only made 11 Super League appearances, he helped raise the standing of the competition’s newest franchise and then enjoyed even bigger success with Wales.

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The former Bridgend, Toulouse and Cardiff Blues utility back led his country to a surprise victory in the European Cup in France as Wales earned the right to face Australia, New Zealand and England next season.

“As the most-capped Wales player in rugby union history, Thomas gave a Crusaders team assembled at the last minute by coach Brian Noble a face instantly recognisable by the Welsh public,” said Tim Butcher, contributing editor to the Gillette Rugby League Yearbook, the publication that decided which players made the biggest impact on the European and world game in 2010

“If anybody had their money on them beating France to take a place in next year’s Four Nations they deserve a rich return. What a fantastic achievement by the Welsh Rugby League and coach Iestyn Harris!”

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