Rhys Thomas recovers from heart surgery

Support for Thomas as he recovers from heart op in hospital

Messages of support have poured in for Scarlets prop Rhys Thomas after the Wales forward underwent heart surgery.

The 29-year-old, who has won seven caps for his country, was treated by club medics after being taken ill at training on Thursday morning, before being transported by ambulance to Morriston Hospital in Swansea.

The Scarlets announced in a statement last night that Thomas had undergone successful surgery and was in a 'comfortable' condition, but he will remain in hospital during his recovery.

On the mend: Llanelli Scarlets' Rhys Thomas has undergone heart surgery

On the mend: Llanelli Scarlets' Rhys Thomas has undergone heart surgery

The South Africa-born tighthead, formerly of the Newport Gwent Dragons, had previously missed several months of the 2006/07 season with a chest problem.

The Wales squad, currently preparing for their RBS 6 Nations campaign at a training camp in Gdansk, Poland, have passed on their best wishes to their former colleague and his family.

Hooker Huw Bennett said in a statement released by the Welsh Rugby Union: 'Rhys is a former Wales colleague and we were all shocked when we heard the news that he had been taken ill.

'I know the whole squad are thinking of him and his family at the moment and we would like to wish him a speedy recovery.'

Several Wales squad members also took to Twitter to wish Thomas a speedy recovery.

Support: Mike Phillips has sent a get well message to Rhys Thomas

Support: Mike Phillips has sent a get well message to Rhys Thomas

Scrum-half Mike Phillips posted: 'My thoughts are with Rhys Thomas and his family.'

Thomas' regional team-mate George North said: 'Thoughts are with Rhys Thomas and the family… Get well soon!!'

Support has also come from outside the Welsh rugby community, including messages from England internationals Mike Tindall and Danny Care.

'Best wishes to Rhys Thomas hope he has a speedy recovery,' Tindall posted on his Twitter page, while Care added, “Get well soon Rhys Thomas! Legend of a bloke, hope he recovers quickly!”.

Thomas started his career with Newport, breaking into the first team in 2003 and going on to earn a place in the Dragons squad when Welsh rugby turned to a regional model.

His impressive form for the Rodney Parade side saw him win his first cap as a replacement in the first Test on the tour of Argentina in 2006 before he was struck by his chest complaint.

He started against Italy during Wales' 2008 Grand Slam campaign after missing out on selection for the 2007 World Cup, and left the Dragons after 119 appearances to join the Scarlets in 2009.

He has since made over 50 appearances for the west Wales region and last featured in the RaboDirect Pro12 victory over Glasgow earlier this month.

His most recent appearance for Wales came in their Six Nations win over Italy in Rome in 2009.