24 May, 14:08
The Irish Rugby Supporters Club is delighted to announce that tickets for the GUINNESS Series 2013 will go on sale on ticketmaster.ie at 10am on Thursday, May 30.
Thomas, the record Welsh try-scorer injured his ankle during the side's 42-0 rout of the Barbarians in Bristol on Wednesday.
Initial indications were that Thomas could be sidelined for three months, an absence that would see him miss Wales's three-match tour and put at risk his move to French giants and European Cup finalists Toulouse.
However Wales coach Ruddock said yesterday, "I feared the worst at first, like everyone else. It is 99.9 percent certain Gareth will miss the first Test against Argentina, he could make the second one and hopefully be available for the third match against the Springboks."
Ruddock, for whom the match was his first in charge since succeeding Steve Hansen, added: "He will see our medical team a bit later, but he will definitely go on tour.
Meanwhile, French hooker Olivier Azam has signed up for a second spell with Gloucester after spending the season with Montferrand.
The 29-year-old, who played for Gloucester between 2000 and 2003, turned his back on offers from several other English Premiership clubs and agreed a three-year contract after meeting club chairman Tom Walkinshaw.
Azam, described by England hooker Steve Thompson as his toughest opponent in the Premiership, will forge an all-international front row alongside World Cup winner Phil Vickery and Springbok Christo Bezuidenhout. "I can't wait to get back to Gloucester. I'm certainly happy to be returning in a Gloucester shirt rather than for an opposing team," said the Frenchman.
"For me the stability and quality of the squad was key. Gloucester have one of the strongest squads and set-ups in the Premiership and Europe."
Azam, who won the last of his 10 caps against Australia in 2002, made a substantial impact during his first spell at Kingsholm and director of rugby Nigel Melville admitted he was delighted by the Frenchman's return. "We've worked hard to bring Olivier back to Kingsholm. He's a powerful individual that will add to our forward options for the new season," he said.
Azam's decision to return to England was no doubt influenced by Montferrand's failure to win the Challenge Cup, a loss that denied the French side a place in next season's Heineken Cup.
London Wasps centre Mark Denney will leave the new European Cup champions at the end of the season after signing with Castres Olympique of France on a two-year deal.
Denney becomes the second Wasps player to join the French side after Paul Volley confirmed he would also be joining them during the off-season.
Denney, a Cambridge Blue and a qualified lawyer, has enjoyed a successful time at Wasps club since joining midway through season 1997-98. He captained the side on a number of occasions and has played more than 150 games for the club. "I'm looking for a new challenge and France offers it. I've signed a two-year deal and Paul and I will join up with them in June," the 29-year-old said.
AFP - 2004.