By David Williams
Rose Thomas has become the sixth Wales hockey international to announce her retirement from the international game within the past eight months.
The 30-year-old Wales goalkeeper – a stalwart for her country for a dozen years and who won 89 caps – has added to the major turnover within the squad by announcing she is to concentrate on club hockey only.
Her decision comes just four weeks after Thomas was named in the squad preparing for a Tr-Nations tournament in South America in June.
The Guildford player – who is from Abergavenny – will continue to play at club level, but will join former captain Leah Wilkinson, Sian French, Natasha Fortnam, Sophie Robinson and Julie Read as ex-internationals.
All have decided to call it a day since last year’s Commonwealth Games.
“I am so proud to have represented Wales at a senior level for the last 12 years,” said Thomas.
“I have relished the pressure of playing at the highest level. But most importantly I have loved playing alongside such inspiring, resilient and talented teammates and friends.”
Thomas made her international debut in 2011 and went on to win four Great Britain caps and appear for Wales at two Commonwealth Games.
She also played in six European Championships and was three times voted “goalkeeper of the tournament” at international competitions.
Hockey Waleshead of performance Kevin Johnson said: “Rose has made an outstanding contribution to our women’s senior team over the years as a player, a person and a leader.
“I know myself and the rest of the players and staff will greatly miss her being around the group, but we wish her all the very best as she steps away from International hockey.
“She set high standards with her absolute drive and commitment to self-improvement and performance and the results of this were always evident on the pitch, especially being recognised by opposition peers and coaches when receiving three goalkeeper of the tournament awards.
“Her diligence in preparation and performance also played a key part in two memorable shoot-out victories for Wales – one at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018, and in a crucial semi-final of the World Cup qualifiers, 2021.
“It has been a real pleasure being able to work with Rose at both club and country over the years and I’m so pleased she can look back now with a lot of pride and very few regrets.””