Thomas prepares for operation

Former Wales and Scarlets prop Rhys Thomas will have an operation on Tuesday ahead of a heart transplant.

The 32-year-old announced his retirement from rugby in April 2012 after suffering a heart attack three months earlier.

On that occasion he was taken ill while taking part in a cardio session in the gym at Scarlets' ground where he was treated by their medical team and then rushed to hospital.

Thomas then underwent a life-saving quadruple heart bypass operation.

"I can confirm he is having an operation today to prepare him for a heart transplant in the near future," Thomas' agent Christian Abt said to the BBC.

Among the former team-mates wishing Thomas well on Twitter were Scarlets and Wales centre Scott Williams, who wrote: "All the best with the op."

And Ospreys number eight Joe Bearman, who played with Thomas at Newport Gwent Dragons, wrote: "Good luck big guy. Get that pump in there, our thoughts are with you mate."

South Africa-born Thomas, who won seven caps for Wales, came through the ranks at 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.