Alun Gruffydd Thomas. Centre/Wing/Outside half. 13 caps.
1952 v E,S,I,F; 1953 v S,I,F; 1954 v E,I,F; 1955 v
DOB: 3/2/1926 Cwmavon.
DOD: 8/5/1991 Swansea (aged 65).
Main clubs: Swansea, Cardiff, Llanelli.
Alun Thomas will be remembered as a good utility player, but in fact he started as a superb outside half for Swansea, playing outside Roy Sutton and inside Len Davies.
He then became just as good a centre at Cardiff and also played top-class rugby as wing and full back, being one of the few players who could always follow the exciting running of Cliff Morgan and provide a magnificent link with him and Bleddyn Williams. He began at Port Talbot County School and won a cap for Wales Secondary Schools against England in 1945. He went on to Aberystwyth University and played for Llanelli Wanderers, Llangennech and then Swansea, for whom he appeared 107 times and scored 177 points (19t,24c,13p,10dg). He appeared for the All Whites against Australia in 1947 and in 1950-51 joined Cardiff, playing 82 times (19t,5dg) until 1954-55, being on the wing against South Africa in 1951 and then outstanding at centre in the win over NZ in 1953. He had won 10 caps from Cardiff – nine at centre and one at outside half - with his drop goal helping beat France in 1952 and secure the Grand Slam. In 1955 he switched to Llanelli and won three caps in the centre including scoring a fine try and creating another with a clever cross-kick in Paris. He toured South Africa with the 1955 Lions but injury restricted him to five appearances at full back. A sales manager and oil company rep, he became appeals officer for the National Trust and was a WRU selector (1963-68), assistant manager of Wales to South Africa 1964 and a well-respected manager of the 1974 Lions in South Africa. In 1985-86 he became WRU president. His brother-in-law was Len Blythe (3 caps, 1951-52) and his nephew was Roger Blyth (6 caps, 1974-80).
This player profile courtesy of Howard Evans.