London - Former Wales centre Matthew J Watkins on Monday revealed he has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.
Watkins won 18 caps for his country, making his first appearance against Italy in 2003, and his last against Argentina in 2006.
The 34-year-old also had spells with the Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons and Gloucester before retiring in 2011.
Watkins has since worked as a skills coach with Welsh Premiership side Cross Keys.
He is to undergo treatment at the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff for cancer of the right pelvis.
In a statement released on his behalf through the Welsh Rugby Union, Watkins said: "Obviously it's very disappointing news for me and my family but I'm keen to progress with my treatment and battle the illness with the same commitment as I gave to my rugby career.
"I would like to thank everyone who has offered their support and the fantastic support from the guys at Velindre Cardiff.
"I am determined to continue my everyday life with my family and friends and appreciate the privacy shown during this very difficult time."