Actor Mickey Rourke has reiterated his commitment to bring the life of former Lions and Wales legend Gareth Thomas to the silver screen.
Thomas toured New Zealand in 2005, playing in four games and taken over the captaincy after Brian O’Driscoll was ruled out through injury.
But the former Wales captain and most capped player hit the headlines last year when he revealed that he was gay. The man known as ‘Alfie’ is recognised as the only current professional sportsmen to be gay.
Rourke is known to be a keen rugby follower and was taken by Thomas’ story. Rourke has suggested a feature film about Thomas’ life was in the pipeline and he has now confirmed his plans.
"I read the story. It's one of the toughest, hardest sports in the world to play,” said Rourke.
“They play with no pads. It's brutal. To be a man who plays rugby who is gay and to live with that secret for the amount of years that Gareth had, to perform at the high level that he performed at, it takes a lot of courage."
However, Rourke admitted that any film would have to be sensitively handled.
"When I met Gareth Thomas, this is one thing that he and I talked about," he added. "This is something that's really important."
Utility back Thomas has become a dual-international since making the switch to rugby league with the Crusaders and recently helped Wales qualify for the highly-lucrative Four Nations competition.