Thomas: Worcester are 'sleeping giants'
August 27, 2013
Jonathan Thomas will bring a wealth of experience to the Warriors © Getty Images
Ex-Wales flanker Jonathan Thomas has revealed money was not the reason behind his switch to the Worcester Warriors and has labelled his new side "a sleeping giant".
Thomas swapped the Ospreys for the Warriors in the summer in a move which saw him bring to an end his 10-year association with the Swansea-based side. Thomas, who has 67 caps for Wales, was deemed surplus to requirements at the Ospreys despite him having a year left on his contract and the Warriors, who are under Dean Ryan's tutelage this season, acted quickly to get their man.
The signing was quite a coup for the Warriors and Thomas skippered them on Saturday in their pre-season against, of all teams, the Ospreys. And Thomas admits the experience was "a bit strange" but he is loving life at the Aviva Premiership side and working under Ryan.
"It certainly wasn't a financial decision for me to join Worcester," Thomas told South Wales Evening post. "Had it been I probably would have stayed where I was. I started playing rugby because I loved playing the game. You read everywhere these days about people moving for money, but people don't start playing the game for money. The majority of rugby players still play because they love playing the sport.
"I made the decision after speaking to Dean. If I'm honest I wasn't 100 per cent sure I was going to leave the Ospreys. But after speaking to Dean I was convinced there and then that it was the right time for me to move.
"It was obviously a difficult decision to make. After being at a club for so long, you make a lot of friends and feel very loyal to the club. It was a tough decision, but I decided at this stage of my career I needed the change."
And Thomas has backed the Warriors to wake from their slumber and climb up the table. He added: "Worcester have outstanding facilities and are a great club, a bit of a sleeping giant. They've underachieved a fair bit in the past.
"But we're working hard as a group and Dean has come in and created an excellent environment. I've been around long enough to know the difference between good and bad environments, and the one Dean is creating is outstanding."
Ryan has been delighted with the flanker and said he would be keen to talk with the Ospreys if they were contemplating getting rid of any more players of Thomas' ilk. Ryan said: "He brings ability, he brings leadership and he's a bloody good bloke. He also has 70 caps of experience.
"You can't get a much better combination for being involved in a senior group within a club."If they've got a few more they wish to get off the conveyor belt, I'd be delighted to talk to them."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Top 14, Super Rugby and the Aviva Premiership with fireworks and monsters both featuring
Firdose Moonda looks at the moves towards greater integration within South African rugby ... and what the future holds
It is 100 years this week since the last international match played in Europe before the outbreak of World War One. Rewind remembers the fixture's longest-living survivor
Martin Gillingham looks ahead to what he believes is the most remarkable ever climax to the league phase of the Top 14