Wales armbands: Why are Wales wearing black armbands against England during Six Nations?

Wales take on England at Twickenham Stadium in London today in the next round of Six Nations fixtures. And eager eyed fans will have noticed the Welsh side are wearing black armbands in tribute today.

Why are Wales wearing black armbands against England during Six Nations?

The Welsh side are wearing black armbands today in tribute to former star Matthew Watkins, who died today at the age of 41 after a long illness.

Welsh Rugby Union tweeted: “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 MJ.”

Cysga’n dawel translates as: Sleep quietly.

Watkins, who won 18 caps for Wales between 2003 and 2006, retired from the sport in 2011.

And in a tragic update in 2013, he revealed he had a rare form of pelvic cancer.

Then in 2018, he was dealt even more bad news when doctors discovered the cancer had spread to his spine.

In January this year they revealed it had spread again, this time to his head. 


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He leaves behind his wife Stacey and sons Siôr and Tal.

Tributes poured in for the Welsh international star following the news.

Dragons said 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 Siôr and Tal, family and friends.

“The thoughts of everyone at Dragons Rugby are with them all at this very sad time.”


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Gloucester tweeted: “Everybody at Gloucester Rugby are saddened to hear the news that our former player, Matthew J Watkins, has passed away at the age of 41. A man who battled so bravely and admirably.

“Our heartfelt sympathies go out to Matthew’s family and friends.”

BBC Rugby pundit Jonathan Davies tweeted: “RIP Matthew. What a lovely guy who took on cancer with courage and always had a smile on his face. @Velindre.

“Lived life to the full and was always smiling. Thoughts and prayers are with his family and close friends.”

Welsh rugby player Jamie Roberts said: “Rest peacefully MJ. Do him proud at Twickenham today lads.”

Retired player Ian Gough said: “Heart breaking news this morning about a legend of a bloke that has lost his long fight with a horrible disease.

“As long as I live will the absolute character that was MJ be in my memories. Nos dda Matt.”

Nos dda translates as: Good Night, Matt.

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