The captain was speaking the day after stepping off the bench to help Wales win against Canada at Nantes in their first pool match of Rugby World Cup 2007.
The reception at St Nazaire was yet another example of how local people are queuing up to welcome the Wales players, coaches and managers to the region where they will be based for their away from home pool matches.
It took place in a revamped warehouse in the old port at St Nazaire next to a colossal wartime German submarine base which still stands as a museum.
St Nazaire Mayor Joel Batteux welcomed a contingent of the Welsh squad including skipper Thomas and the coaching and back-up team led by Head Coach Gareth Jenkins.
Then Pornichet Mayor Jacques Lambert spoke before a Welsh guest was asked to respond on behalf of the Wales team for the crowd of shopkeepers, bar owners and local dignitaries.
Gareth Thomas told them the Welsh squad had received a magnificent welcome and were thoroughly enjoying their stay in the Pornichet hotel complex which is their base. After gifts were exchanged the St Nazaire orchestra struck up the Welsh National Anthem to entertain the victorious Wales squad representatives.
Wales Team Manager Alan Phillips said, "We weren't sure how good Gareth spoke French but he impressed us and certainly delighted the locals.
"We have received a wonderful welcome and I'm sure a lot of the lads will want to visit here again long after their rugby playing careers are over.
"We can't devote a lot of time to formal welcome events but it is a real pleasure to meet and talk to some of the local people who work so hard to make our stay a success. We only stayed an hour or so but that time was well spent and the people we spoke to know just how much we appreciate their welcome.
"It is all part of the World Cup experience and it reminds our boys how much their presence is appreciated here and what an honour it is to be representing Wales."