France rainbow laces for Gareth Thomas

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Gareth Thomas spent three years in French rugby with Toulouse

France’s national rugby team will wear rainbow laces this weekend in support of Gareth Thomas following his assault.Former Wales captain Thomas, who played at French club Toulouse for three years, was the victim of a homophobic attack last Saturday in Cardiff.This Saturday, French players will make the gesture during their Test match against Fiji in ParisFrench Rugby Federation vice-president Serge Simon tweeted: “Dear Gareth Thomas, all French Rugby is with you.”The Rainbow Laces campaign began in 2013, when gay rights group Stonewall invited footballers in England and Scotland to wear them.He added: “To show our support, the French rugby players will wear a rainbow shoe lace during the France – Fiji game on Saturday night. We’re all in with you in this matter.”The 44-year-old, who came out as gay in 2009, appeared bruised in a Twitter video, saying he was targeted because of his sexuality.

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A visibly shaken Thomas, from Bridgend, thanked police and the people of Cardiff for helping him on Saturday night

Officers dealt with a 16-year-old boy by way of restorative justice following a request by Thomas to “send a positive message”.Thomas enjoyed a successful spell in French rugby, between 2004 and 2007, helping Toulouse become European champions in 2005.

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England’s rugby union co-captain Chris Robshaw wore rainbow laces against Samoa last autumn.

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