France to wear rainbow laces in support of Gareth Thomas

Teddy Thomas goes over for his second of two tries against the Pumas. ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images

In a show of support for former Wales captain Gareth Thomas, who was the victim of a hate crime, the France rugby team will wear rainbow shoelaces for their game against Fiji on Sunday night (AEDT).

Vice-President of France Rugby Federation, Serge Simon, announced the news with a tweet on Wednesday, throwing his support behind the first openly gay rugby player.

Thomas described how he was the victim of a hate crime in Cardiff because of his sexuality on Sunday through a tweet. The former British & Irish Lions captain appeared with bruising around his left eye and head.

The former centre thanked police for their help during the incident and for allowing him to collaborate in a process of restorative justice, a form of mediation between a victim and an offender aimed at producing a positive outcome.

"I was the victim in my home city of a hate crime for my sexuality," he said.

"There are an awful lot of people out there who want to hurt us but unfortunately for them there are a lot more that want to help us heal, so this I hope will be a positive message."

Police in Cardiff confirmed a 16-year-old boy had admitted assault and was dealt with through restorative justice.

On Thursday, the Welsh Rugby Union announced that they would also be wearing rainbow laces in support of their former captain during their match against South Africa.