Thomas signs new Crusaders deal
Dual-code international Gareth Thomas has shelved his plans to retire at the end of the season and signed a new one-year contract with Engage Super League club Crusaders RL.
The former Wales and British Lions threequarter, who turns 37 next month, took up a 12-month option on his original deal last September and will now play on to the end of the 2012 season.
“I am really excited to be signing for another year at the Crusaders,” Thomas said.
“This is only my second season as a rugby league player and it is only now that I am beginning to really learn and enjoy the game for what it is.
“I feel to stop that process now would be a real shame. So re-signing for another season was an easy decision for me from a rugby perspective.
“To stay on with the Crusaders, who are a Welsh rugby team with big ambitions, is something I am proud of and I am really pleased to be a part of those ambitions and to do my part to help the club and its profile grow.
“I’ve had a great two seasons with the Crusaders so far. It has enabled me to play and captain Wales again and I can’t wait for next year.”
Thomas, who switched codes in March 2010, has made 13 appearances for the club so far this season, scoring four tries and blossoming since his move from wing to centre.
Crusaders coach Iestyn Harris said: “I am thrilled that Gareth has decided to extend his stay with the Crusaders.
“A lot of eyebrows were raised when we signed Gareth but we knew we were getting an outstanding player.
“He is a superb athlete who has worked incredibly hard since coming here and he looks like he’s been playing rugby league all his life.
“Gareth has been one of our top performers this season and his hunger and desire to succeed has been evident in his displays on the field.
“His experience has been invaluable to the squad and everyone at the club has been impressed with his attitude and work ethic.
“Gareth has the enthusiasm and energy of a 20-year-old and I hope that continues to rub off on the rest of the squad.”
In the absence of the injured Lee Briers, Harris appointed Thomas as captain of Wales for their successful European Cup win over France last October and he is expected to play a big role in the end-of-season Four Nations clashes with England, Australia and New Zealand.
Thomas won a record 100 caps in rugby union for Wales and made three appearances for the British and Irish Lions.