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Wales to wear rainbow laces in support of ex-skipper Thomas

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Welsh players will wear rainbow laces in support of former captain Gareth Thomas when they take on South Africa on Saturday after he was the victim of a homophobic assault.

Gareth Thomas

Thomas, 44, who came out as gay in 2009, posted a video on Twitter on Sunday saying he had been a victim of a hate crime in Cardiff “for my sexuality”.

Police dealt with a 16-year-old boy using restorative justice following a request by Thomas, who wanted to send a “positive message”.

“Wales & Wales Women will again support @StonewallCymru #RainbowLacesDay campaign & show their support to former captain @gareththomas14 by wearing #RainbowLaces in their fixtures this weekend,” the Welsh Rugby Union wrote on Twitter.

Last year captain Alun Wyn Jones wore rainbow laces during Wales’s clash with New Zealand to show support for the LGBT community.

“We are delighted to confirm that Welsh rugby is once again proudly endorsing Stonewall Cymru’s Rainbow Laces initiative throughout its two-week 2018 awareness campaign, whilst continuing to permanently support its values on a year-round basis,” said a WRU spokesperson.

France were the first team to announce earlier in the week that they would be wearing rainbow laces during their match against Fiji on Saturday in support of Thomas.

“He (Gareth Thomas) attracted the attention of every rugby country with the abuse he suffered,” France coach Jacques Brunel said on Thursday.

“I think rugby must support him. We’re going to show our total disapproval of this behaviour. We want to support Gareth Thomas wholeheartedly.”

Thomas played in France for three years with Toulouse from 2004.

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