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Welsh Rugby
Ex-Wales second-row Thomas dies
ESPN Staff
July 9, 2012
Wales' Brian Thomas on the charge, Wales v Scotland, Wales, February 1, 1964
Brian Thomas on the charge for Wales back in 1964 © PA Photos
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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."

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