Student Chosen to Play in International Rugby Tournament

Exeter College news article

Date: Tuesday 06 March 2018

A student from Exeter College and the Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education has been chosen to play for the Welsh Rugby Team in an international Rugby 7’s tournament.

Will Thomas, who has been partially deaf since birth, has been playing since he was a young boy but it has never been easy. He explained that when he first started playing he found it very difficult as he couldn’t communicate with the other players but by the age of 7, and after his first proper game, Will and his team mates had worked out a way of communicating through using simple signs.

At the age of 14 he took a real interest in Welsh rugby and at that age realised he was really passionate about it. After winning over 15 games with his local team, Will moved to the Deaf Academy.

Will’s dad shares his love for Welsh rugby and it was him that entered him for the team. Will had to go to Cardiff for trials and spent weekends travelling there to train. It was here that the scouts first spotted him and chose him to represent Wales in the Wales Deaf Rugby Union.

The World Deaf Rugby 7’s event will take place in Sydney, Australia in April 2018 against numerous other international teams. This is the first major international Deaf rugby event for more than fifteen years.  It will include teams from New Zealand, Japan and South Africa.

Will said he is proud and shocked to be picked and although he is nervous, he has worked hard for this opportunity.

After college, Will hopes to work with kids in the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS). He hopes to be able to pass on his knowledge and experience and to be a positive role model. He has just been accepted to work with the NDCS as a volunteer and will soon travel to Birmingham for training, although he says he will always continue with rugby!

We wish Will every success in Australia and look forward to seeing how he gets on.


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