12 Aug 2011

Wales skipper Rees set to sit out World Cup

11:58 am on 12 August 2011

Wales captain Matthew Rees looks certain to miss the Rugby World Cup after it emerged the hooker could need surgery on his injured neck.

Wales coach Warren Gatland, who has already lost winger Morgan Stoddart to a broken leg for next month's tournament in New Zealand, had hoped that any operation on the 30-year-old hooker might be delayed until after the World Cup.

But Gatland admits the 47-Test Rees, who skippered Wales in the Six Nations and was a Test starter on the 2009 British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa, could go under the knife in the coming weeks.

Wales begin their World Cup campaign against defending champions South Africa in Wellington on September 11 before facing Samoa, Fiji and Namibia in a tough-looking pool.