A member of the U19s Wales national team, back-rower Gethin Thomas is one of many individuals chasing the NRL dream and attempting to make their childhood dream a reality.

Unlike others who are just beginning their rugby league career, Thomas has been hitting prime form, which has seen him receive offers from Super League clubs such as the Salford Red Devils

Instead, the Western Australia native declined the offers hoping to achieve his dream of playing in the NRL.

Admitting his dream began at a young age due to his passionate love for the sport; he credits Johnathan Thurston, Regan Grace, and Jonathan Davies as his idols.

Not allowed to set foot on the rugby league field until the age of 12, he was only allowed to compete in specific sports. Thomas' choice; taekwondo and Aussie Rules. This would stay until he entered high school. 

“I think I've always had a passion for watching it and a love for the sport, but I wasn't allowed to play rugby league until I was 12 years old because my dad didn't think I was ready for it,” Thomas told Zero Tackle.

“When I started high school, my dad said that I could play rugby league, and I started playing.”


Already having a sporting skillset due to playing other sports, he easily transitioned into rugby league.

After getting the go-ahead from his father, Thomas would finally enter the rugby league world; for the Fremantle Roosters.

Beginning his league career at the Fremantle Roosters, he would stay there until he left Perth in 2022, joining the Corrimal Cougars, who compete in the Illawarra Rugby League competition.

Founded in 1912, the Cougars have 111 years of history in the Illawarra Rugby League competition. Throughout their history and two first-grade premierships, they have aided in the development of NRL greats Ben Hornby, Luke Patten, Craig Young and currently Newcastle Knights back-rower Tyson Frizell.

A club with a rich history, it is a great start for the beginning of Gethin Thomas' career, especially considering Newcastle Knights icon Jarrod Mullen was brought into the team as a marquee signing.

NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 14: Jarrod Mullen of the Knights runs the ball during the round 23 NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Penrith Panthers at Hunter Stadium on August 14, 2016 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

“My main decision as to coming to (the) Cougars is I wanted to really progress as a player because I know there's elements in my game that I can definitely improve on

“I'm the type of player that always strives to be the best version of myself.”

“A massive part of me choosing Corrimal was to work with Jarrod Mullen because he's part of the Corrimal Cougars, and I've learned a lot off him so far.”

“Particularly of him being a half, running lines of him was so east, but he's definitely helping a lot of the boys out at the moment in terms of defensive work rate and tempo in the game- when to slow it down (and) when to speed it up.”

“(Also) I could hopefully get an opportunity with the Dragons Jersey Flegg side next year and hopefully then progress up the ranks from there.”

Already having represented Wales at the U19s level, Thomas aspires to play for the men's national team one day.

Honoured to wear the Wales jumper, Thomas was a member of the Wales squad in the U19 European Championship last year. 

Taking on teams across Europe, his great performance got him included in the ‘2022 Wales Team of the Year', which contained players from the men's, women's and wheelchair national teams.

“I have ambitions to play for Wales in the 2025 World Cup,” he stated to Zero Tackle.

“It's been a goal of mine since I was a little kid, and I'm really hoping in 2025 that I get to go to France.”

“I even get goosebumps just talking about it.”


Thomas admitted that he couldn't do any of this without the love and support of his parents. Their continual support has helped get him to where he is.

“My parents have been very supportive of me.”

“I've probably put them through a lot having all these training sessions, so I'm forever grateful for them putting in heaps of hard work to get me to all these trainings and paying for everything when I was younger and supporting me moving to the other side of the country and to go play in the UK last year.”

“They're a massive part of me being able to be the person I am today and getting these opportunities, so I'm forever thankful.”

Whether Gethin Thomas ends up stepping foot in the NRL or represents Wales, he is a player that fans should keep a close eye on in the near future. 

No matter his decision, the 20-year-old is bound to create some shockwaves across the rugby league community sooner rather than later.