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Rugby stars rally behind Thomas

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 on Friday night that Thomas had undergone successful surgery and was in a "comfortable" condition, but he will remain in hospital during his recovery.

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.

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.

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