Rhys Thomas was born in South Africa but began his professional career in Wales, making his debut for Newport, the town of his father's birth, in 2003.
He came through the youth ranks at Rodney Parade and made a try-scoring debut for the Dragons following the advent of regional rugby in a
27-5 win over Glasgow
in October 2003, before establishing himself as a Dragons regular in the 2004-05 season as the team finished fourth in the Celtic League.
The tight-head made his international debut in Wales'
45-27 defeat by Argentina
in Buenos Aires in June 2006, replacing Adam Jones in the second half.
But he was unable to play for seven months between October 2007 and May 2008 because of a
mystery chest problem
Thomas's next Test cap was in August 2007 when Wales were defeated
62-5 by England
in a World Cup warm-up.
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