Having come through the development pathway at the Ospreys via Bonymaen and Swansea, Thornton was crowned the Youth Development Player of the Year at the Region in 2013, and captained the Welsh U20 team during the 2015 Six Nations and Junior World Cup.
By that time he had already started to make his mark in an Ospreys shirt, his debut coming in an Anglo Welsh Cup tie against Saracens at the Gnoll in November 2014, his PRO12 debut just a fortnight later versus Ulster at Kingspan Stadium. He made his European bow the following year in the memorable 34-29 loss to Clermont Auvergne at Stade Marcel Michelin.
In May 2017, Rory was included in the Wales squad for the two-Test summer tour, where he earned his first cap.
After 59 appearances for the Ospreys since his debut in 2014, Thornton signed a new two-year deal with the club in May 2018.
In July 2018 Thornton signed a season long loan deal with the Cardiff Blues for the 2018/19 season.
As of the 2018/2019 Champions Cup, Thornton has had 9 European Cups appearances.
JW July 18
No 5 Lock
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|2018 - present|
|2014 - 2015|
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No 4 Lock
|2014 - 2018|