Ex-Wales second-row Thomas dies
July 9, 2012
Neath have confirmed that former Wales lock Brian Thomas has died at the age of 72.
Thomas won 21 caps for Wales during the 1960s while captaining Neath - a side he later went on to manage during the 1980s and 1990s. A statement on Neath's website said that "Thomas passed away in the early hours of this morning (Monday) after a long illness".
Thomas, who also turned out in the front-row, won his first cap against England in 1963 and was part of the victorious Wales side that won the Five Nations in 1964, 1965 and 1966. Thomas also took three rugby union Blues while at Cambridge University.
Tributes have been paid to Thomas on Twitter with Neath MP Peter Hain writing: "Very sad death of great Neath rugby giant Brian Thomas after long illness. Sympathies to Brian's family."
Former Ospreys coach Sean Holley said: "Really sad to hear about the passing of Neath legend Brian Thomas. He was an inspiration to many. Thoughts go out to his family."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Despite having lost all four of their 2014 Six Nations games, the future of Italian rugby is bright with the team showing a new youthful core, argues Enrico Borra
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'