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Funeral of Wales rugby player Matthew J Watkins to be streamed online

The 41-year-old died earlier this month after being diagnosed with a rare form of pelvic cancer.

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Former Wales centre Matthew J Watkins died earlier this month at the age of 41 (David Davies/PA)

Former Wales centre Matthew J Watkins died earlier this month at the age of 41 (David Davies/PA)

Former Wales centre Matthew J Watkins died earlier this month at the age of 41 (David Davies/PA)

The funeral of former Wales rugby player Matthew J Watkins is to be streamed online because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Watkins, who won 18 caps for Wales between 2003 and 2006, died earlier this month at the age of 41 after being diagnosed with a rare form of pelvic cancer in 2013.

The former Dragons, Gloucester and Scarlets centre’s funeral will take place on March 31 and a large gathering had been expected at Thornhill Crematorium in Cardiff.

RUGBYU Wales
Matthew J Watkins (left) won 18 caps for Wales between 2003 and 2006 (David Davies/PA)

But Blackwood’s Woodfield Park Funeral Directors said in a statement on their website: “During these uncertain times we ask that only family and close friends attend Matthew’s funeral service.

“This may be subject to change and further restrictions pending government advice.

“This is simply to help protect the family and staff that will be in attendance.

“The funeral service will be streamed online for anyone wishing to see from the safety of their own home – details of how to view the service will be posted.

The funeral service will be streamed online for anyone wishing to see from the safety of their own home.Woodfield Park Funeral Directors

“Please check this notice again closer to the time of the funeral.

“We please ask you to respect this decision and thank you for your cooperation at what we appreciate is a very hard time for the family.”

Watkins, a hugely popular figure in Welsh rugby, made over 300 club appearances in a 14-year senior career before he retired in 2011.

He left his wife Stacey and sons Sior and Tal.

PA