Thomas ready and raring to go

Gareth Thomas’ four-week suspension expires on Thursday and he is incredibly keen to return for Wales in their vital Six Nations clash against Italy in Rome on March 10.

Thomas was ruled out of his country’s first three games after being banned for aggressive behaviour towards spectators during Toulouse’s fractious Heineken Cup encounter with Ulster.

And he watched in frustration from the sidelines as Wales lost to Ireland, Scotland and France to sit bottom of the Six Nations table and facing a potential wooden spoon.

The French league is in hibernation for the duration of the Six Nations so Thomas would be thrown into the deep end if he starts against the Italians.

His last game of rugby was as a replacement for Toulouse against Ulster on January 21.

But the talismanic former captain could be just the man Wales need to inspire them in Rome on March 10 and end a run of four straight defeats.

“I’m fit and chomping at the bit, ready and raring to go,” he said.

“I’ve still very much felt a part of the team and am now just desperate to get back out on the pitch.

“From a personal point of view, it’s been a tough couple of weeks, but I’ve just thrown myself into training and tried to be as enthusiastic and supportive to the rest of the boys as possible.

“We were under pressure against France, just as we will be next week, but maybe that’s not a bad thing for us.

“We know we can perform well under pressure and we will be looking to go out to Italy and notch up a win.”

Thomas’ return is perfect timing given Kevin Morgan is already out of the Italy game as he recovers from a broken jaw and Mark Jones faces a race against time after damaging his ribs in France.

Prop Chris Horsman is also a concern after twisting his ankle in Paris. Both he and Jones have been advised to rest from club action this weekend.

Morgan will miss the trip to Rome but has undergone a successful operation and could be available to play England at the Millennium Stadium on the final weekend of the championship.

 

365 Digital

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