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French rugby team make heartwarming gesture of support for Thomas after homophobic assault

By Online Editors
Gareth Thomas celebrates after scoring the second Lions try during the match between the British and Irish Lions and Wellington at The Westpac Stadium on June 15, 2005 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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The French rugby team have rallied in support of former Wales and British & Irish Lions star Gareth Thomas after he was the victim of a vicious homophobic assault last weekend.

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On Sunday South Wales Police confirmed that a 16-year-old boy has admitted assaulting Thomas on Saturday.

Thomas, capped 100 times by his country, posted a video on Twitter stating that he had been subjected to a homophobic attack in the Welsh capital.

Thomas thanked police after he requested the teenager was dealt with by way of restorative justice so he could “learn more than any other way” following what he described as “a hate crime for my sexuality”.

Now the French Rugby Federation’s vice president Serge Simon has said that the team will wear rainbow laces in their game against Fiji this weekend in support of Thomas.

Simon tweeted: “Dear , All of French Rugby is with you regarding the homophobic molestation you’ve been victim of. To show our support, the French rugby players will wear a rainbow shoe lace during the France – Fidji game on Saturday night. We’re all in with you in this matter.”

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South Wales Police stated on Sunday : “We are aware that a video has been posted on social media by former rugby international Gareth Thomas in relation to a hate crime which happened on The Hayes in Cardiff city centre.

“We can confirm a local 16-year-old boy was dealt through restorative justice following the incident at around 9pm.

“Restorative justice was at the request of Mr Thomas and accepted by the teenager who admitted assault and was apologetic for his actions.

“Restorative justice is about putting victim needs at the centre of the criminal justice system, finding positive solutions to crime and encouraging young people to be accountable for the consequences of their actions.”

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