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Page last updated at 12:56 GMT, Monday, 12 May 2008 13:56 UK

Gloucester sign Scarlets' Watkins

Matthew Watkins in action for Wales
Watkins is relishing the new challenge (Getty)

Gloucester have announced the signing of Llanelli Scarlets and Wales centre Matthew J Watkins on a two-year deal.

The 29-year-old will join Gloucester at the end of the season, leaving Llanelli midway though a three-year deal.

Watkins, who has 18 Wales caps, has scored 33 tries in 123 appearances since joining the Scarlets in 2002.

Gloucester head coach Dean Ryan said: "Matthew will bring experience, big-game expertise and first-class attitude to our squad."

It is a fantastic opportunity to take my career in a new and fresh direction
Gloucester's Matthew J Watkins

Watkins paid tribute to his former club: "I would like to thank everyone at Llanelli for their help and support during my time at Stradey Park. They are a fantastic club and I wish them every success in the future.

"When you talk of massive clubs in England and Europe, Gloucester are right up there and I am very fortunate that I now have the opportunity to test myself with them," he added.

"Their ambition is to be challenging regularly for honours and that is why this move is of such importance to me. It is a fantastic opportunity to take my career in a new and fresh direction and I cannot wait to get started."


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