Thomas Castaignede is a very popular French sporting hero currently living and working in London.
A very classy and natural Rugby Union three-quarter, he made 54 appearances for Les Bleus, his last Test being against the All Blacks in Wellington in June 2007. His international career kicked off against Romania and he went on to score 18 trys for his country, in addition to 42 conversions, 21 penalties and five drop goals.
Thomas introduced himself to world rugby in 1995 with a last minute drop goal, defeating England in the Five Nations. Sadly injury has played a cruel part in his career forcing him out of the 1999 World Cup and various other blights affecting him later on. His talent and innate class were evident from his early days on the pitch running out for his home town of Mont-de-Marsan.
Castaignede then transferred to European rugby heavyweights Toulouse, where he was instrumental in helping them to win three successive domestic titles and the inaugural European Cup. After a stint at Castres Olympique, he followed in the footsteps of an elite family of international rugby legends to join Saracens.
Very much a thinker and a clear communicator, Thomas was a columnist with the Guardian for over six years and is a regular on media platforms such the BBC and Sky, and was an ITV analyst during the last World Cup.
He is known for his sunny disposition, honesty and friendliness. Thomas is often requested to give keynote talks or sit on question and answer panels.
Although he holds a degree in engineering, he currently works in finance and lives in North London with his wife and two children. Thomas is a proud Arsenal supporter.