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Dual-code Wales international Gareth Thomas quits

Updated: October 25, 2011, 08:08


LONDON(AP) Wales dual-code international Gareth Thomas retired Tuesday aged 37, four days before he was due to play in his country's opening match of the Four Nations rugby league tournament.

The first player to make 100 appearances for the Wales national rugby union side, Thomas has been playing league for the past 18 months and scored three tries in four tests.

He had recovered from a broken arm sustained in July to be fit for Saturday's match against England but, with his club side Crusaders having folded because of financial problems, Thomas has decided to quit.

"If you can't give 100 percent to rugby then you can't do it justice,'' Thomas said. "This is a sad day, but I know that my time has come to an end as a player.

"I do not know what lies ahead, but I feel the challenge of something different excites me more than another year of rugby.''

Thomas, who scored a then record 40 tries in 100 matches for Wales' union side, has already branched out, playing the harp on a television talent show this year and publicly supports a charity counseling service for children.

Thomas attracted widespread media attention in 2009 when he announced that he was gay, earning praise within the sport for his honesty.

The former British and Irish Lion played his last game of rugby for Crusaders on July 9 and will now miss the Four Nations tournament against Australia, New Zealand and England.

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