The Welsh Rugby Union have released the video that was due to be broadcast at the Principality Stadium on Saturday in honour of the late Matthew Watkins, who won 18 caps between 2003 and 2006,
It was last Saturday, the day of Wales’ Guinness Six Nations defeat away to England at Twickenham, that the ex-Test midfielder tragically passed away at the age of 41 from a rare form of pelvic cancer.
At 2pm today in @principalitysta we were due to pay tribute to Matthew J Watkins with a minute's applause. Despite the postponement of #WALvSCO, let us still take a moment to remember this remarkable man: https://t.co/RSNWNQlfQ2
Mi fydd Cymru a'r gêm yn cofio ti, MJ ??????? pic.twitter.com/5wSVfGgPKY
— Welsh Rugby Union ? (@WelshRugbyUnion) March 14, 2020
A tribute – a minute’s applause accompanied by the video – was due to take place in Cardiff 15 minutes the kick-off of the round five match versus Scotland.
However, that match was postponed at short notice on Friday due to the coronavirus outbreak and it instead left the WRU remembering their former player by sharing their tribute on social media.
A tweet from the WRU read: “At 2pm today in @principalitysta we were due to pay tribute to Matthew J Watkins with a minute’s applause. Despite the postponement of #WALvSCO, let us still take a moment to remember this remarkable man.”
A written tribute published on the union’s website stated: “Matthew J Watkins, who sadly passed away on March 7 at the age of 41, was a skilful and creative centre.
“He started his career at Newport, making his mark early on at international age-grade and sevens sides, before going on to win 18 caps for Wales.
“He enjoyed a long and successful time at the Scarlets, making 150 appearances before becoming a popular player at Gloucester. His career came full circle, finishing at Rodney Parade with the Dragons.
“Matthew continued to give back to rugby after his playing days and despite battling cancer, helped coach Oakdale minis and juniors and Brecon in their Plate-winning season. Matthew was a loving husband to Stacey and devoted father to boys Sior and Tal.
“A fighter to the end, Matthew will also be remembered for his courageous eight-year battle with cancer and his unwavering commitment to raising funds to support charities and services which offer support to others fighting the disease. Rest in Peace, Matthew J.”
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