The Racing 92 winger was omitted from the squad selected last summer, but there was never any call from Brunel or his staff to explain their reasoning.
Instead, he was left to absorb the disappointment without any feedback but he is now back in the mix under Brunel’s successor Fabien Galthie and is set to start against England this Sunday at the Stade de France.
“No, I had no feedback from the staff,” Thomas told Midi Olympique when asked had he been given a reason why he wasn’t chosen for the finals in Japan. “But I understand. There were guys much better than me.
“I had a hard time having the slightest explanation. I naively thought I was part of an adventure, a project, and that was obviously not the case.
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“The first day of the announcement, I was really affected. I thought I was going. I had a rather favourable feeling, so I went down to Biarritz to share this moment with my family, with my mother and my grandfather.
“I had a lot of feedback that made me believe it, but I shouldn’t have listened to people. I should have waited, with fear in my stomach. It would have saved me a lot of disillusionment. The early days were really difficult.”
Now restored to the French side, Thomas explained the steps he took to help him bounce back from the massive disappointment.
Lawes says he doesn't plan on backing down on social media. https://t.co/QO7JDT5Yrk
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 30, 2020
“I used a physical trainer. He was with me in Biarritz. He made me understand that there were other objectives, including returning to the club in July. It did me good. I was able to turn the page and move on.”
The hard work paid off and the 26-year-old is now set to earn his 17th cap and his first since November 2018’s defeat to Fiji in Paris.
“I was on the training ground the day Raphael Ibanez called me to let me know that I was picked. I listened to his message, it was cool. True happiness.”
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