Thomas shuns big money move to Perpignan
May 5, 2011
Thomas has opted to extend his stay at the Liberty Stadium © Getty Images
Ospreys flanker Jonathan Thomas has turned down a lucrative move to Top 14 giants Perpignan in favour of extending his stay at the Swansea-based region.
The 28-year-old Wales international, who won the last of his 66 Test caps during this year's Six Nations, opted against joining current team-mate James Hook at the Catalan powerhouse next season and instead has put pen to paper on a new deal with the reigning Magners League champions that will keep him at the Liberty Stadium until 2014.
Thomas is one of a handful of foundation players who has been with the Ospreys since they were established and admits he was more than happy to carry on playing for the region. "I have been proud to play for the Ospreys since 2003," he told the Western Mail. "There has been a core of us and I'm just proud to be involved in the region.
"We've achieved some great things while there have also been some disappointments. I had offers to go elsewhere but I have a burning desire to achieve things with the Ospreys. I have played for the Ospreys since they were established and there's only four or five of us left. I just have a desire to achieve with them."
The double Grand Slam winner has also won three Magners League titles and an Anglo Welsh Cup with the Ospreys but is keen to taste success in the Heineken Cup - Europe's premier club competition.
"We want to prove to people that we can do well in Europe," he added. "With the signings we have made and the individuals we have here, I'm very positive that we're going in the right direction. If I wasn't I would've left. I'm confident in the people running the organisation so I'm more than happy to stay here."
"There's also a great bunch of players here and we all get along. Obviously there are players moving on, which is disappointing, they're great friends but the ship keeps moving forward and we have to do well next year."
Thomas joins skipper Alun Wyn Jones, winger Shane Williams and prop Adam Jones in agreeing to remain with the Ospreys next season but the side are braced for a host of departures with Hook heading to Perpignan, Lee Byrne to Clermont Auvergne, Jerry Collins to Japan, Marty Holah returning to New Zealand and Mike Phillips also linked with an exit.
The Ospreys face Aironi in Italy in their final regular season game of the Magners League tomorrow evening with a place in the play-offs still within their grasp although they need other results to go their way.
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