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Watkins diagnosed with cancer

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Matthew J Watkins is to undergo treatment at the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff

Matthew J Watkins is to undergo treatment at the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff

PA

Matthew J Watkins is to undergo treatment at the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff

Former Wales centre Matthew J Watkins has revealed he has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

The 34-year-old won 18 caps for his country and also had spells with the Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons and Gloucester during his playing career, which ended in 2011. Watkins has since worked as a skills coach with Welsh Premiership side Cross Keys and is studying for his level-three coaching qualification.

He is to undergo treatment at the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff for cancer of the right pelvis.

In a statement released on his behalf through the Welsh Rugby Union, Watkins said: "Obviously it's very disappointing news for me and my family but I'm keen to progress with my treatment and battle the illness with the same commitment as I gave to my rugby career.

"I would like to thank everyone who has offered their support and the fantastic support from the guys at Velindre Cardiff.

"I am determined to continue my everyday life with my family and friends and appreciate the privacy shown during this very difficult time."