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Gloucestershire 15:00 Crusaders

Hollywood magic

Movie star Rourke set to play Crusaders' Thomas

Last Updated: 17/02/11 10:22am

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Among the 60,000 fans at Millennium Magic last weekend was Hollywood superstar Mickey Rourke.

"He is a great guy, a great actor and for me it is an honour for him to do a film about my life."
Gareth Thomas Quotes of the week

The star of Sin City and The Wrestler was in the stands sitting alongside boxing legend Joe Calzaghe. Rourke was researching his upcoming movie role portraying the life of Crusaders' Gareth Thomas.

Rourke took in the action and then went and met the Crusaders players in the dressing room after their match. He told Boots 'n' All that, although he is no expert on Rugby League, he is studying the game and working on acquiring the right physique for the role.

"I'm trying to take the game in not all at once - it is something I know nothing about," he said.

"I've been watching the game for about seven months now, trying to get the basics.

"I'm thinking the first thing you've got to do in rugby is you've got to be fit, you've got to be in shape. We've got a year to prepare, get in shape and research the movie and I love contact sports."

Fascinating story

Thomas had a glittering career in the Union code, representing both Wales and the British and Irish Lions. However, in December 2009 he made headlines for a different reason when he announced publicly that he was gay. Thomas then made the switch to Rugby League in 2010.

He told Boots 'n' Allthe prospect of megastar Rourke playing him in a film is still something he is struggling to come to terms with.

"He is a great guy, a great actor and for me it is an honour for him to do a film about my life," said the Crusaders ace.

"But more so rugby deserves somebody to tell the story of what people go through and with my story it has been a tough one. I like the way Mickey wants to portray what a rugby player is all about."

There could even be a part for former world champion Calzaghe.

The Welsh fighter revealed: "I've been acting for the last seven or eight months now and have a good relationship with Mickey who is a big boxing fan and was a fighter himself. For me it would be great to be part of this film about a great rugby player like Alfie."

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