Gareth Thomas has spent the last couple of days in Ireland since hiss Late Late Show appearance on Friday night. With today being National Coming Out Day, he discussed the difficult journey he had in coming out as gay to his teammates and other people in his life.
He was also asked a bit about rugby.
It's been hard to miss the spikiness in the Ireland-Wales rivalry in the modern era (which we can only put down to the Welsh resenting us as 'new money' in the rugby success stakes) but Thomas heaps praise on Ireland while he's in the country.
Most pleasingly, he announced that he believes teams 'now fear' playing Ireland.
I think people fear playing Ireland. I think the Welsh-Irish rivalry has grown of late. Wales and Ireland have played each other with a lot at stake, which has allowed the rivalry to grow. I think the Welsh national team has grown in stature and I think that the Irish have as well. They have kind of grown together.
There is much to welcome in these comments. However, one would have to be dubious about the proposition, despite recent results, that the French suffer from this 'fear'. One too many hammerings meted out in the Parc des Princes and later the Stade de France for them to be petrified with fear at the thought of playing Ireland.
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