Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees out after appendix operation

Matthew Rees
Hooker Matthew Rees re-signed for Cardiff Blues on a one-year deal after being courted by Merthyr RFC
Guinness Pro12: Cardiff Blues v Zebre
Venue: Cardiff Arms Park Date: Sunday, 6 September Kick-off: 14:30 BST
Coverage: Live on S4C & online; live score updates on the BBC Sport website

Former Wales captain and hooker Matthew Rees is out of Cardiff Blues' Pro 12 opener at home to Zebre on Sunday after having his appendix removed.

Rees, 34, re-signed with Blues in July after his deal with the Welsh region from the previous season had expired.

He had been courted by Merthyr RFC but turned down the ambitious Welsh Championship side.

But Blues head coach Danny Wilson revealed Rees will miss the opening game of the season after surgery.

"It came on the weekend a bit out of the blue, bit of an emergency in and out job," said Wilson.

Wilson, appointed head coach in June, also revealed lock Lou Reed is close to full fitness but will not figure against Zebre.

Sam Warburton, Gethin Jenkins, Lloyd Williams, Alex Cuthbert and Cory Allen are also unavailable as they are in Wales' 31-man World Cup squad.

Fly-half Gareth Anscombe's ankle injury saw him miss World Cup selection for Wales and he remains sidelined.

Hooker Kristian Dacey also did not make Warren Gatland's final pick but has remained with the Wales squad.