Thomas urges fans to make Magic Weekend


Crusaders RL star Gareth Thomas is urging sports fans not to miss out on a weekend to remember when Engage Super League heads to the Scottish capital for Magic Weekend on May 1 and 2.
The former Rugby Union Lion will experience Murrayfield for the first time as a Rugby League player and believes that the supporters can add to the magic which will see seven action-packed Rugby League games over the Bank Holiday weekend.
Crusaders RL face Bradford Bulls in the opening match of Magic Weekend 2010 and Thomas is looking forward to treading familiar turf against opponents who defeated them 20-16 at Grattan Stadium earlier this month.
Thomas said: “I’ve watched Magic Weekend on Sky Sports in the past. It’s a great concept and the great thing about it is that it shows how passionately supporters care about Rugby League.
“It promotes the game really well and it will be great to be a part of that than watching it from my sofa.  It’s a magical weekend and I’m sure that supporters will go there in their droves.
“Edinburgh is a great city. The people are friendly, there’s a great party culture and it’s a very welcoming place, while Murrayfield has an amazing history.”
Thomas admits that Murrayfield is like a second home to him after visits with Wales and Cardiff as a Rugby Union player and is hoping Magic Weekend will create new memories.
The former British and Irish Lions star said: “I’ve been there so many times with Wales and Cardiff so for me, compared to other players, it’s almost like a home away from home. It will be strange being there as a Rugby League player but it’s an exciting challenge to go there and try to create some new memories.”
Thomas admits that the tie is likely to attract extra attention as coach Brian Noble lines up against a team he guided to five successive Super League Grand Finals.
“I followed Rugby League as a supporter before I joined the Crusaders, so I’m well aware of Brian’s history with Bradford,” said Thomas.
“It’s only a couple of weeks ago that we travelled to Bradford and narrowly lost, and Brian wasn’t happy with our performance that day. As a player you always want to get one over on your old club, and I’m sure that fighting spirit doesn’t die when you’re a coach.
“Nobby is a shrewd old character and I’m sure he’ll come up with something to keep Bradford on their toes.”
Thomas has scored two tries since his arrival at the Racecourse Ground and the 35-year old believes that he has been revitalised by his cross-code switch.
“I absolutely love it,” Thomas said. “It’s an amazing game and I’ve come away with something new from every training session I’ve done.
“Brian Noble, Iestyn Harris and Jon Sharp are constantly looking at my game and helping me to improve. It’s just a fantastic sport to play. It’s so non-stop energetic. If you’ve got energy to burn then it’s absolutely brilliant,” said Thomas.