Prior to that, the Ospreys ace had won just one Test cap in 15 months following an injury nightmare consisting of groin, shoulder and pelvic problems.
But fit-again Thomas is slowly returning to his best ahead of the Millennium Stadium showdown.Double Grand Slam winner Thomas said: "When you go through long periods of time out of the set-up, every game feels much better.
"It really hits home what it means to play for Wales when you are out injured on the sidelines. Playing at the Millennium Stadium is an incredible experience and I'm sure Friday won't be any different.
"You have to enjoy every moment at this level and make sure you don't take them for granted."
Thomas has switched from lock to the back-row for the clash against Les Bleus on Friday night. But the 52-cap forward believes the change, as well as filling in for the injured Alun Wyn Jones as the line-out captain, will not have too big an impact on Warren Gatland's men.
Thomas added: "Playing number six is not too different. There are slight differences but the basics of the game don't change.
"You are in the game more as a ball carrier while the contact area is getting more and more important.
"Different people have their roles and responsibilities in the side and being line-out captain just means I will be making the calls.
"Ryan Jones is the captain of the side and makes the important decisions while Stephen Jones is our tactical captain.
"My job is to work with Robin McBryde, try to come up with a game plan and then execute it on the day. You have to be able to react in certain different situations."