Coronavirus: Alix Popham plea to support streamed Matthew J Watkins funeral

Matthew J Watkins in action against Argentina in 2006
Matthew J Watkins won the last of his Wales caps on tour to Argentina in 2006

Alix Popham has made an emotional plea for people to support the funeral of former Wales and Scarlets team-mate Matthew J Watkins.

Watkins died earlier this month at the age of 41 with a rare form of pelvic cancer.

His funeral on Tuesday will be streamed online because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ex-Wales forward Popham is urging fans to watch wearing team jerseys, badges or ties and post the pictures online.

A large gathering would have been expected at Thornhill Crematorium in Cardiff but because of social distancing only a maximum of 10 people are able to attend.

"I know there would have been thousands of friends, family and supporters who would have turned up because of what Matthew meant to them," said Popham in a video posted on social media.

"I want to put out an idea that everybody tunes in and wears a club tie, a club jersey, a club badge just to show how much Matthew meant to them."

The former number eight then suggested watchers post photos of themselves along with stories about Watkins, who won 18 caps for Wales between 2003 and 2006 and played for Newport, Dragons, Scarlets and Gloucester.

He retired in 2011 and revealed in 2013 he had pelvic cancer.

Watkins' funeral will be streamed via this link by Blackwood's Woodfield Park Funeral Directorsexternal-link.

It announced the decision to make it available online earlier this month when the impact of Covid-19 was just beginning to take effect.

Since then further restrictions have been brought in by Cardiff City Council and now only a maximum of 10 immediate family members will be able to attend burials and cremations in the city.

Alun Wyn Jones pays tribute to Matthew J Watkins

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