Former Wales centre Watkins dies aged 41

Matthew Watkins (Getty)
Matthew Watkins (Getty)

Twickenham - Former Wales centre Matthew J Watkins has died at the age of 41 from cancer, it was announced on Saturday.

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Watkins, who won 18 caps for Wales from 2003-2006, retired in 2011 and was diagnosed with a rare form of pelvic cancer seven years ago.

Wales players will wear black armbands as a mark of respect in their Six Nations international against England at Twickenham later on Saturday.

The Welsh Rugby Union wrote on Twitter: "We are deeply saddened by the news that former Wales international Matthew J Watkins has passed away.

"The squad will today wear black armbands to show their respects. All our thoughts are with MJ's family and friends. Cysga'n dawel (rest in peace) MJ."

One of Watkins' former clubs, the Dragons, paid tribute by saying in a statement: "Everyone at Dragons Rugby is deeply saddened at the passing of our former player Matthew J Watkins.

"Matthew will be missed by so many and our sincere condolences go out to Matthew's wife Stacey, his sons Sior and Tal, family and friends."

Former dual-code Wales international Jonathan Davies too to Twitter to pay his respects by saying: "RIP Matthew. What a lovely guy who took on cancer with courage and always had a smile on his face. Lived life to the full and was always smiling. Thoughts and prayers are with his family and close friends."

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