CROSS Keys have appointed former Wales centre Matthew J Watkins as skills coach.

The 33-year-old ex-Newport, Scarlets, Gloucester and Dragons back, who was capped 18 times, retired at the end of the 2010/11 season.

Watkins, from Oakdale, is studying for his WRU level three coaching badge and will work under backs coach Mark Ring.

“It’s a good fit for both sides,” said head coach Greg Woods. “He is able to get his foot on the coaching ladder and we will benefit from a fresh pair of eyes.

“Last season was a massively successful one for us but it’s always good to move things forward.

“Matthew wants to learn off Ringo and I am sure the pair of them will bounce ideas off each other.

“Someone of his experience can only add to our environment and hopefully he can help us improve and have a real cutting edge.”

Keys start their Premiership campaign with a clash against champions Pontypridd at Pandy Park on Saturday.