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Wales were embarrassed - Thomas

Jonathan Thomas takes on Australia
Jonathan Thomas says Wales can front up on the big occasions

Jonathan Thomas says Wales were embarrassed by defeat to Australia and understood why fans booed them.

He said of the 33-12 defeat: "We're a proud nation and have passionate fans turning up every week to watch us play.

"[They're] the best fans in the best stadium in the world so they're perfectly entitled to boo us.

"As a group of players we're embarrassed by the way we played and we don't want to associate ourselves with performances like that."

Osprey Thomas, 26, won his 50th cap in the 33-12 loss, and Wales were 23-12 adrift when he came on as a replacement for Luke Charteris after 49 minutes.

He says Wales must regroup and the players help ensure their regions compete effectively in the Heineken Cup before returning to Test action in the Six Nations in February.

606: DEBATE

Wales travel to Twickenham to face England on 6 February in their opening game of the tournament.

Thomas said: "Over the last few years we've shown we can win big games - the Grand Slam in '08 and beating Australia last year - so I don't think it's a case of we can't front up on the day.

"I think it's just the fact that on this particular day we played particularly poorly and if we want to be regarded as a top tier nation then we can't allow things like that to happen.

"As a group we have to go back to the regions and take the intensity of Test rugby back to the regions and try and do well in Europe and then come the Six Nations we'll know where we're at, really.

"I was chatting to Stephen Jones and we were making the point that in Welsh rugby there's been many highs and many lows - that's the nature of Welsh rugby and we've been through far worse times than this over the years.

"But one thing that does shine out is that there's a bond and a character within the squad and we've just got to come tight like we always have done in tough times and come the Six Nations we've just got to put it behind us.

"Good teams have bad days, but good teams always put it right the next time."

Thomas was absent for much of last season due to injury and has noticed significant differences in the sport since his return to regular action.

I am proud of the achievement [of winning 50 caps], but the game always outshines anything like that

Jonathan Thomas

He says Wales must evolve their approach amid the increasing emphasis on tactical kicking and competition for possession at the breakdown.

"The game has changed a bit tactically - kicking - and the contact area is a lot more competitive again," he said. "It seems to get more competitive every year.

"And it's just something you've got to evolve as a side and perhaps it's a bit of a wake-up call that we've got to evolve our game and move things forward over the next few years."

He is also proud of his achievement in taking his caps tally to 50, but said: "I am proud of the achievement, but the game always outshines anything like that.

"My mood is more disappointment than anything else, really, but particularly pleased to reach that milestone."

Wales v Australia

Highlights - Wales 12-33 Australia



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see also
Fans disappointed by Wales slump
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Gatland 'disappointed' with Wales
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Wales 12-33 Australia
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Injury worry for Williams & Rees
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Autumn internationals photos
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Wallaby wonders: Aussie rugby
21 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
Wales v Australia: Full record
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Thomas called up to Wales bench
19 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Ospreys suffer Thomas injury blow
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Thomas misses All Blacks with ban
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Wales' rugby fixtures
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Wales rugby results archive
15 Oct 03 |  Welsh
Coming up next on Scrum V...
03 Nov 08 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
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