The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
Following Friday’s 26-19, defeat Wales are just one place above the Pacific Islanders in the IRB rankings, with seedings for the 2015 World Cup to be decided at the end of the autumn internationals.
Howley, who will hand back the reins to Gatland ahead of Saturday’s game against New Zealand and the visit of Australia on December 1, will also take charge of 2013 RBS 6 Nations and Wales’ defence of their Grand Slam title.
But Thomas, who won 100 caps for his country and also captained the Lions on the 2005 tour to New Zealand, said Gatland’s split role had hampered Wales’ ambitions.
“I don’t care how the Lions get on,” said Thomas. “I’d rather Wales be drawn well in the World Cup, do well in the autumn series and Six Nations.
“So if Gatland being away has hampered it, then to me it’s the wrong decision because my country, Wales, comes first to me.”
Wales are on a five-game losing streak in full internationals following their winless summer tour to Australia - although they have picked up victories over the Barbarians and the Brumbies - their worst run for two years.
Their last victory was a 16-9 triumph over France at the Millennium Stadium back in March when they claimed their third RBS 6 Nations title in eight years.