The 41 year-old had been suffering a rare pelvic cancer, and raised funds for local treatment centre
Former Wales rugby international Matthew J Watkins has died at the age of 41.
The centre had been receiving treatment for a rare form of pelvic cancer since 2013.
Watkins won 18 caps for his country and played for Scarlets, Dragons and Gloucester.
We are deeply saddened by the news that former Wales international Matthew J Watkins has passed away.— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) March 7, 2020
The squad will today wear black armbands to show their respects. All our thoughts are with MJ's family and friends.
Cysga'n dawel MJ#RIPMJ pic.twitter.com/S9iSskyvvQ
A statement from his former team the Scarlets paid tribute to Watkins:
"The Scarlets family are deeply saddened by the news that our former player Matthew Watkins has passed away at the age of 41.
"‘MJ’ played 150 matches in a Scarlets jersey between 2002 and 2008, scoring 42 tries, including one against Ulster at Stradey Park that helped the Scarlets clinch the 2003-04 Celtic League title.
"He is fondly remembered as a silky-skilled, creative midfielder, who was a hugely popular figure among our supporters, the playing squad and staff at Stradey."
In recent years Watkins had helped raise thousands of pounds with fundraising events for Welsh Cancer Centre Velindre, where he was receiving treatment.
"The thoughts of everyone at Scarlets Rugby are with Matthew’s wife Stacey, his sons Siôr and Tal, family and friends at this sad time."
Newport too paid tribute:
Matthew J Watkins was a fans' favourite at Rodney Parade and was deservedly inducted into our Hall of Fame in 2018, joining a list of many other legends who have worn the B&A jersey 🖤💛— Newport RFC (@NewportRFC) March 7, 2020
📸 Ron Sutcliffe#COTP #YmlaenCasnewydd pic.twitter.com/9pb8oPim6Y