The 37-year-old Wales international rugby player is to hang up his boots with immediate effect giving the reason only that he can no longer give “100 per cent” to the game.

Thomas’ spokesperson, Emanuele Palladino, told the press: “We can confirm that Gareth Thomas is officially retiring from both international and club rugby with immediate effect.

“This marks the end of what has been a remarkable career for a remarkable person. Gareth hopes that through his achievements both on and off the field he has left a lasting legacy within the game.”

The popular rugby personality, born in Sarn, Bridgend, was due to play for Wales against England in the Gillette Four Nations Series on Saturday. He previously spent most of his sporting career playing rugby union with Cardiff. In 2007 Thomas surpassed Gareth Llewellyn as the most-capped Wales rugby union player with his 93rd appearance. He switched to rugby league in 2009.

Thomas, 37, later told Pink News: “I have listened and discussed this decision with many of my family and close friends. My mind has told me that the time to retire is now.

“If you can’t give 100 per cent to rugby then you can’t do it justice. This is a sad day, but I know that my time has come to an end as a player. My passion for the amazing game will never end or leave me however.”

Thomas revealed his homosexuality in 2009, however added that he did not want to be known as a gay rugby player. Hollywood actor Mickey Rourke plans to make a film about Thomas’ life casting himself in the lead role.

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