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Last Updated: Friday, 17 March 2006, 16:16 GMT
Thomas rejects retirement reports
Gareth Thomas
Thomas has won 88 caps for Wales
Gareth Thomas has dismissed suggestions he will be forced to retire from rugby after rupturing an artery in his neck.

Wales captain Thomas was quoted in a French newspaper saying the prospect of playing again made him "very scared".

But the 31-year-old claimed his remarks have been poorly translated and stressed he will make a full recovery despite suffering a mini-stroke.

"Hopefully I'll play at the end of the season, but I'm 100% certain I'm going to play next season," said Thomas.

"I don't know if it's worth me commenting because everything I say lately seems to be taken out of context and cut.

"But the doctors have given myself and my family confidence that I can play again fully."

Thomas was taken to hospital last month with a severe headache after his heated appearance on the BBC Wales Scrum V programme.

He defended the actions of his players in the run-up to former coach Mike Ruddock's dramatic departure, and later collapsed at his home due to stress.

"My blood pressure rose during the television interview," Thomas told French sports newspaper L'Equipe. "Four arteries take blood to your brain and the one which had been damaged stopped working.

"Because I was young and in good condition the other three took over and prevented me from having a full stroke."

As far as I can see it's been lost in translation. Maybe people need to pick up on their French
Wales captain Gareth Thomas

Thomas went on to explain he would retire from the game if his family could no longer bare the "torment" of watching him play again.

The Toulouse centre conducted the interview for L'Equipe in English, and his words were then translated into French.

His comments were then translated back into English by Welsh newspaper the Western Mail, and Thomas believes the facts have been "lost in translation".

He told BBC Wales Sport: "I did the interview on Thursday with L'Equipe. I went back to the very start when it all actually happened and how I was feeling lying in a hospital bed.

"Since then, things have progressed and I know for a fact I can play again.

"So as far as I can see it's been lost in translation. Maybe people need to pick up on their French."

He added: "My family have met the doctor with me and they realise rugby is as much a part of me as anything else.

"I want to get back playing and they support me. They will be behind me 100% when I play because the doctors have given them the confidence that I will be fine when I play again."

Thomas watched from the touchline at the Millennium Stadium last Saturday as Wales drew 18-18 with Italy.

It is unclear whether Wales' record try scorer with be there for Saturday's match with France, but he admits he will be glad to see the back of this campaign.

"I'm going back (to Toulouse) on Tuesday and I'm looking forward to catch up with my friends and I suppose to get away from everything that has gone on here.

"But I'm not hiding from anything. It's been a tough Six Nations, it ends on Saturday and as far as I'm concerned I'm just looking forward to getting back on the field."

Thomas comments surprise Ruddock
20 Feb 06 |  Six Nations
Wales chief denies Ruddock coup
17 Feb 06 |  Six Nations
Ruddock & players deny Wales rift
16 Feb 06 |  Six Nations
Ruddock steps down as Wales coach
14 Feb 06 |  Six Nations


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