Chris Kirwan SWA writes :
FORMER Newport, Wales and Lions centre Malcolm Thomas has died at the age of 82.
Machen-born Thomas made 276 appearances for the Black and Ambers between 1946 and 1959 and captained the side from 1954 to 1957.
The versatile back led Newport to the Club Championship in 1955/56.
His efforts for Newport caught the eye of the national selectors and after making his debut against France in Paris he went on to win 27 caps for Wales.
Thomas won two Grand Slams – in 1950 and 1952 – and in total scored 22 points for Wales.
He toured Australia and New Zealand with the Lions in 1950, when he was top scorer with 95 points, and 1959, when he played in all positions in the backs apart from scrum-half.
Newport RFC historian Mike Dams said: "Malcolm was a hugely talented player who could play all across the backs. He captained every side that he played for.That just goes to show the respect that his team-mates had for him not only as a player but as a person."
Thomas, who was also a talented cricketer, went to school at Bassaleg Grammar before attending Caerleon Training College.
He played against South Africa, New Zealand and Australia for Newport while Cornwall, Monmouthshire, the Royal Navy, the Barbarians and the Crawshays are also an impressive rugby CV.