'His time has come!' Wales internationals and fans blown away by how good star has become

-Credit: (Image: Huw Evans Picture Agency Ltd)
-Credit: (Image: Huw Evans Picture Agency Ltd)

Cardiff Rugby centre Ben Thomas put his name forward for another Wales call-up on Judgement Day as he starred at Cardiff City Stadium.

Despite a 29-33 loss, Thomas shone through with a talismanic performance as captain. With smart offloads, well-executed side-steps and an all-round impeccable skipper display, the centre was sublime.

Wales' squad for the summer tour of Australia is announced on Monday, with many pundits now backing Thomas for a place. The fact he can be deployed as both a fly-half or inside centre is another string to his bow.

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Thomas was the catalyst for Theo Cabango's superb try, soaking up a hit and making a classy offload to Tinus de Beer in the build-up. Another moment saw him offload from the deck into Mason Grady to get Cardiff back level with their opponents.

BBC Scrum V pundits Alex Cuthbert and Jamie Roberts were purring about his display by half-time.

Cuthbert said: "He's skipper today, he's had a few nice touches hasn't he? Just trying to get the ball into the hands of Mason Grady early on.

"Ben Thomas is always in the thick of it. He's the man with the skill. He's trying to unlock and pop players through holes."

Roberts added: "I think he's the best player on the park at the minute. He's carrying strongly, staying square in attack. His ability on the ball is unparalleled across both teams. He has been super impressive today."

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With the capital city region 15-26 down with 10 minutes to play, they needed some more inspiration, and Thomas again provided that.

In perhaps his highlight moment of the match, Thomas received the ball under pressure, side-stepped Keelan Giles and fly-half Dan Edwards before sticking one out the back door to Gabriel Hamer-Webb, who duly dotted down. He then nailed the touchline conversion afterwards.

In the dying stages, Thomas fed Grady again with a fizzed flat pass, missing Hamer-Webb and Jacob Beetham in the process to put his team in for yet another score. The 25-year-old followed that up by nailing another touchline conversion as the full time whistle blew.

Had Cardiff won on the day, Thomas would have surely won the player of the match award, which eventually went to Ospreys' Nicky Smith.

Speaking at full time, Roberts said: "He was made captain because Matt Sherratt has identified his leadership. So I love seeing young players take control and boss things. I can imagine it's the best thing to see as a coach, young players making decisions, having the presence, ability and desire to call the shots".

Many fans agreed with the sentiments of Cuthbert and Roberts, with much praise for the centre/fly-half on social media.

"If there was ever a performance to secure a national team spot it was Ben Thomas today. Leadership, confidence, skillset. Becoming the player we knew he could be and then some." said 'Cardiff Rugby Life'.

"I would have him as Wales nailed on 10, you heard it here first. He is a playmaker, unselfish and very underrated, his distribution is absolutely solid, he knows how to use his weapons. His time has come," said another.