With one eye on Rugby Sevens' debut at the 2016 Olympic Games, the Rugby Sevens World Cup from June 28-30 is not just an opportunity for the world's top 24 men's and 16 women's teams to showcase their Rio credentials, but it also provides a platform for the world's top match officials to stake a claim.
Nigel Whitehouse, who is responsible for Referee Performance and Development within the WRU, said Thomas's inclusion in the 10 man elite referee squad for the forthcoming Sevens World Cup in Russia is reward for the hard work that he has put in to his refereeing over the last three years.
"A product of North Wales and a newly qualified doctor by profession, his has been a rapid rise within refereeing circles. He was identified as a referee with high potential at an early age and was placed into the WRU Referees Academy and blossomed from there," said Whitehouse.
"He has already officiated at British and Irish Cup and LV= Cup level and refereed age grade Test matches at 18s and 20s level. This is his first season on the World Sevens Series and his performances to date have been rewarded with inclusion into this select group.
"Rhys has been a pleasure to work with over the last few years. He is an intelligent and committed young man who always gives 100% and this has been identified and rewarded in his selection for the Sevens World Cup.
"I am sure he will equip himself admirably in Moscow and come back a more complete referee. This selection is great news for Rhys, the WRU and all involved in refereeing within the principality."
An IRB spokesman said the panel contains a blend of the very best men's and women's international referees who have proven themselves in the challenging HSBC Sevens and deserved their inclusion on merit.
Thomas will make his bow in the RaboDirect Pro12 this Friday when he will be in charge of Edinburgh's clash against Connacht.