Monday, March 22, 2010
Union to League convert Gareth Thomas had a rather forgettable debut for the Crusaders against the Catalans Dragons on the weekend as took a knock within a few seconds of kick and never quite recovered.
Thomas, playing in his first professional Rugby League match since making the surprise switch earlier in the month, left the field battered and bruised after just 30 minutes.
The 35 year old former British & Irish Lions captain later revealed that he spent the majority of that time with blurred vision following another big knock he received early on.
"I don't know what happened but in the first tackle I took a clout on the top of the head. Then 20 minutes later my head's gone into someone's knee. As much as I didn't want to go off, I had to," said Thomas.
"But I feel fine now, I feel good. Towards the latter stages of the game I wanted to go back on but it was to the benefit of the team because I wasn't one hundred percent.
"This could have been my first game or my 100th, and what happened would have happened. It is a contact sport and it could have happened at any time.
"Now it has gone behind me I can carry on enjoying what is, I think, really and truly a great game. It is a fantastic sport to play, that is why I wanted to play a full 80 minutes," he added.
Crusaders coach Brian Noble said Thomas still has a lot to learn, but he'll get there.
"We are going to have to teach him a few of the nuances of how to protect the ball in the tackle. He wants to carry the ball a lot but he needs to learn how to do that and when to do that.
"But for his first 30-35 minutes hes done fabulously well given hes never played any rugby league," he said.
While Rugby League isn't a regular feature here on RD, many will have be interested in how Thomas is getting on. And if rumours are to be believed, there could be one or two other well known Welsh players making the switch very soon too.
League fans, you can now also check out Engage Super League highlights on the Omnisport Player on the sidebar, top right. Just mouse over the video and scroll through the options to find what you're after.