Delme Thomas

William Delme Thomas (born 12 September 1942[1] in Bancyfelin near Carmarthen) is a former rugby union player who became one of Wales' best known rugby players in the 1960s and 1970s. He joined Llanelli RFC in 1961 and was the team's captain when they won the league in the 1972-73 season and was also the captain when Llanelli beat a touring All Blacks team in 1972. He is remembered for his emotional speech given to his teammates before this game.

He played for the Wales national youth team at age eighteen and won his first cap against Australia in December 1966[2] and was first choice as lock for the team until he retired from international rugby in 1974, playing his last International in his only loss against England. He was an important part of the team that won the Grand Slam in 1971. During his penultimate season, he was Wales' captain in the game against New Zealand in Cardiff. In total, he won 22 caps.[2]

Delme Thomas toured three times with the then-British Lions. He got his first cap in 1966, before playing for the Wales team, where he played in two test matches. He went on to play two games in the 1968 tour in South Africa and another two in New Zealand in 1971.

In 2000, at the National Eisteddfod in Llanelli, Thomas was honoured as a member of the Gorsedd of the Bards, for his contribution to Welsh sport and the Welsh language.[3]


  1. Griffiths, John (1987). The Phoenix Book of International Rugby Records. London: J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd. pp. 12:33. ISBN 0-460-07003-7.
  2. 1 2 WRU Profile
  3. "Rugby hero honoured by bards". BBC. 1 July 2000. Retrieved 19 April 2010.

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