Bateman and Thomas played for Wales against Romania at Wrexham in 1997
Gareth Thomas says following in the footsteps of dual-code predecessor hero Allan Bateman inspired his decision to bid for a Wales rugby league cap.
Thomas is poised to make his Wales league debut in October and describes Bateman as his lifelong hero.
Bateman also played for Wales in both rugby codes and was also a British and Irish Lion.
Thomas said: "I couldn't really have asked for anything more from my rugby career."
Wales play two Italy friendlies in October, then defend their European Cup when they face Scotland, Ireland and France.
The winners of the European Cup will earn a place in the 2011 Four Nations against England, Australia and New Zealand.
Thomas, who won a record 100 Wales rugby union caps and captained his country and the Lions was last month selected in Wales league coach Iestyn Harris' squad.
I never thought that I'd put on the Welsh jersey again, especially not a league jersey
The Crusader must recover from groin surgery to be fit for their forthcoming campaign.
But he told BBC Radio Wales he is relishing the prospect of relaunching an international career that appeared to have ended when Wales were beaten by Fiji at the 2007 Rugby [union] World Cup.
Thomas said: "For me it's fantastic. I never thought that I'd put on the Welsh jersey again, especially not a league jersey.
"To me, probably one of the biggest things is that my idol in rugby growing up - and even to this day - has been Allan Bateman.
"And to follow in his footsteps, the fact that he played dual-code international; when you get to emulate what your hero has done in rugby almost makes you... well I couldn't really have asked for anything more from my rugby career."
Thomas' decision to join Harris' squad has also promoted Warrington Wolves stand-off Lee Briers to seriously consider an international comeback in the autumn.