Dewsbury Rams can announce that halfback/fullback Jacob Thomas has signed for the club for the 2019 season.
The 25 year old Australian has had a whirlwind of an experience since arriving in England, having only landed on these shores two weeks ago, 30th November, the new Rams signing came straight up to Yorkshire to sign for the club.
Thomas who is from the Australian town of Indooroopill played for Queensland-based club Normanby Hounds. The former Normanby player has played at various levels in his home country, and alongside his rugby career he is also a teacher.
He has decided to leave the Hounds and Australia to not only continue his rugby career at the Rams but also take up a teaching post in Leeds after completing his teaching degree back home.
Thomas started his career at the Hounds as a junior before moving onto Wests Brisbane Panthers where as a youngster he represented the club at Under-18s level in the Mal Meninga Cup. He completed the 2012 campaign as the Panthers top point’s scorer, he competed in the Hastings Deering Colts Challenge.
He left the Panthers and continued his path through rugby signing for the Ipswich Jets where he spent two seasons, the 25 year old then left the Jets and returned to Normanby. His impressive performances continued and in 2015 he became the Brisbane Premier Division’s leading points scorer and player of the year at only 21 years of age.
That year also put him at the top of the clubs leading try scorer list and points scorer tally. He achieved the same club feat in the next year and made it a hat-trick of leading try scorer awards in 2017.
Since then Thomas has kept his impressive performances up and now feels this is the right time for a different challenge and that challenge is to be in England, in the Championship and at the Rams.
On his move to the Yorkshire club he said: “Someone at my old club put me in touch with someone at the Rams, the attraction was the opportunity to play Championship rugby overseas. With the English system being as it is with relegation and promotion you are never far away from playing in the Super League.
“Fortunately for me starting work here wasn’t difficult so that is something else that attracted me. The hours work well, and with Leeds being a rugby area where I am now living, hopefully I can teach the students some parts of the game too.
“I would say halfway through this year I started to formulate the plan to come to England to play rugby. I started to follow the competition and results and saw what could be a good fit for me.
“Dewsbury popped up as one of the clubs in the area I was interested in and I am very fortunate that the opportunity presented itself to play for the Rams.”
Thomas has come to England with his girlfriend and they are now starting to settle into the area, living in Leeds. However the Australian hasn’t quite got used to the weather conditions here in England yet.
He said: “It is something I am certainly having to get used to, the cold weather, yes the cold weather and short days where the sun goes down at 4pm I can certainly do without.
“It has been great since I have got here because I have been busy pretty much all the time. I have been teaching and obviously training with the Rams and getting things sorted with the new house in Leeds. I only arrived on the 30th November so luckily enough I haven’t had time to worry about the weather too much.”
There will be another mouth to feed in the couples household this Christmas as they have brought the cat over from Australia too.
Thomas commented: “It cost me $650 Australian to get from Brisbane to London, me and my girlfriend wanted to bring the cat over, and to do that it cost us $3000 Australian to get our cat from Brisbane to London.”
Finally Thomas spoke about his position and what Rams fans can expect to see from him on the pitch next season.
He said: “I played the majority of my junior career in the halfback or dummy half position, then coming into the under 18, under 20 age group I then started to play at fullback a bit more. Since then I have played in both positions regularly and quite happy to be in both positions depending on what the team needs.
“i don’t know what the fullback position is like here but in Australia that position has a lot of competition for it, whereas halfback is a little harder to come across.
“I have played in every position on the pitch and I think that gives me a great idea on what my teammates are trying to do. Hopefully I can help them do what they want to do.”
The Rams website will have more from our new signing in the coming weeks. so keep a close eye on the website and social media channels.
If you want to see Jacob in action then why not buy a 2019 season ticket: //dewsburyrams.co.uk/season-tickets-2019/