Eddie Watkins

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Eddie Watkins
Full name Edward Verdun Watkins
Date of birth (1916-03-02)2 March 1916
Place of birth Caerphilly, Wales
Date of death 28 June 1995(1995-06-28) (aged 79)
Place of death Cardiff, Wales
School Caerphilly Secondary School
Occupation(s) Police officer
School teacher
Rugby league career
Position(s) Forward
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
1939-? Wigan ()
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1941-1945 Wales 3 (0)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Lock
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1935-1939 Wales Wales[1] 8 (0)

Eddie Watkins (2 March 1916 – 28 June 1995)[2] was a Welsh dual-code international rugby player who played club rugby under the union code for Cardiff and later professional league rugby with Wigan. As a union player Watkins was part of the 1939 team which won the Home Nations Championship and was more famously a member of the Welsh side that beat the touring All Blacks in 1935. In 1939 he joined Wigan and played in three internationals during the war years for Wales league side against England.

During the Second World War he served in the Special Investigation Branch of the Royal Air Force, and played in two Services internationals.[3]

Rugby union career[edit]

Watkins began his club rugby days with Bedwas before moving to first class side Cardiff. In 1935, Watkins was chosen by Cardiff to face the touring New Zealand team. Cardiff were hoping that a strong pack containing Watkins, Les Spence and Gwyn Williams would give the club an advantage against the All Blacks, but were soundly beaten in an exciting game.[4]

Watkins gained his was first cap for Wales in 1935 again against New Zealand. In a memorable game, Wales turned around a losing score-line in the last ten minutes to beat the All Blacks 13-12. Watkins was not selected for Wales throughout 1936, but was back for the final two games of the 1937 Home Nations Championship. It was a poor campaign for Wales and Watkins, with Wales losing all matches during the 1937 campaign. Watkins was reselected for the 1938 Championship, playing all three games. The opening game was against England at the Cardiff Arms Park, and under the captaincy of Cardiff team-mate Cliff Jones, Watkins was involved in his first Home Nations victory. In 1939 Watkins took part in his last Home Nations campaign, and although missing the game against Ireland, he was still a member of a Wales Championship winning team as Wilf Wooller's team lifted the trophy with wins over Ireland and Scotland.

International games played[edit]

Wales, rugby union[5]

Rugby league career[edit]

In March 1939 Watkins joined professional rugby league team Wigan for a reported fee of £600,[6] making his first appearance for the club on 18 March. During his time with Wigan, he made three appearances for the Wales national rugby league side, his first was played at Odsal against England on 18 October 1941.

International games played[edit]

Wales, rugby league


  • Billot, John (1972). All Blacks in Wales. Ferndale: Ron Jones Publications. 
  • Godwin, Terry (1984). The International Rugby Championship 1883-1983. London: Willows Books. ISBN 0-00-218060-X. 
  • Smith, David; Williams, Gareth (1980). Fields of Praise: The Official History of The Welsh Rugby Union. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. ISBN 0-7083-0766-3. 


  1. ^ Wales Rugby Union player profiles
  2. ^ Eddie Watkins rugby union profile Scrum.com
  3. ^ Jenkins, John M.; et al. (1991). Who's Who of Welsh International Rugby Players. Wrexham: Bridge Books. p. 162. ISBN 1-872424-10-4. 
  4. ^ Billot (1972), pg 96.
  5. ^ Smith (1980), pg 472.
  6. ^ Gate, Robert (1986). Gone North: Volume 1. Ripponden: R.E. Gate. p. 17. ISBN 0-9511190-0-1. 

External links[edit]