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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 March, 2005, 10:34 GMT
Thomas: Fans give Wales edge

By Gareth Thomas
Wales captain and leading try scorer

I hear there could be as many as 40,000 Welsh fans travelling to Scotland.

The fans this year have made a massive contribution to our success so far, they've been superb.

This year hasn't been ideal because we've had so many away games, yet still they come in their droves to support us.

To see so much red in every away stadium gives the boys a huge boost.

It's hurting me not being able to train with the boys and knowing I can't play at the weekend because of my broken thumb.

Gareth Thomas makes himself useful during training
I'll be having fun, making the boys laugh and taking the pressure off

But I'm still involved with the squad and honoured and proud to be able to contribute off the field ahead of Sunday's match.

I'll be having fun, making the boys laugh and taking a bit of the pressure off; doing my everyday job really.

It's a year since Mike Ruddock took over as Wales coach and we've come a long way over the past 12 months with Mike and skills coach Scott Johnson at the helm.

Mike has brought a bit of Welshness back into the side - it's nice to be playing under a Welsh coach.

Obviously he's done a lot of work with the forwards and he's strengthened our scrum and our lineout.

But a lot of good things were put in place before Mike took over.

Graham Henry and Steve Hansen were great coaches in their own right, but the one thing they lacked was that they weren't Welsh!


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