Chris Thomas has been appointed as Wales Masters head coach, and will take up the new role in November.
Masters is strictly a social version of the sport and the rules are slightly modified to cater for players over the age of 35. There are no winners, no champions and no cup finals, and every game ends 0-0 no matter how many tries are scored.
Chris made history in 2014 after becoming Wales’ first ever Masters Rugby League international player after starring for Great Britain against Australia.
Born in Caerphilly in 1973, he played rugby union for his hometown club. He eventually crossed codes when he played rugby league for the Royal Engineers. He took up Masters Rugby League in 2011 with Medway Dragons and eventually moved back to Wales and founded the Cardiff Blue Dragons Masters side. He is the only ever-present in the Wales Masters side, pulling on the shirt in all 11 games that have been organised so far.
Chris said: “It’s an honour and privilege to be Wales Masters head coach. It’s exciting times as Masters in Wales has exploded in its short history.
“I’ve been luckily enough to have played in a tri-nations in Bethesda, World Cup festival in York, played out in Canada against 4 Nations, and played Ireland masters at the Cardiff Arms Park.
“I’m now looking forward to be working with old and new players, promoting Wales Masters, getting it growing from strength to strength. So if you’re 35 years old and older, please get involved in Masters as you will not regret it.”
Alfred Harvey, Chair of the Wales Rugby League Masters Association, added: “We’re delighted to have Chris joining the setup as head coach.
“This is a giant jump for Masters in bringing stability to the national squad and building a strong future for Masters rugby league in Wales.”
Chris will be part of the Masters playing squad heading to Ireland for the latest event in the Capital Series, on Saturday 16 September.
If you’d like to join a club, set up your own Masters team or find out more, get in touch with Chris Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org