David Watkins, MBE (5 March 1942 – September 2023) was a Welsh former dual-code rugby international, having played both rugby union and rugby league football for both codes’ national teams between 1963 and 1974. He captained the British and Irish Lions rugby union side, and made six appearances for the Great Britain rugby league team. With the Wales national rugby league team he played in every match of the 1975 World Cup, and with English club Salford he played more than 400 games over 12 seasons.
Watkins was born in Treorchy, Wales, and began playing rugby union at an early age. He made his debut for the Welsh national team in 1963, and went on to win 25 caps for his country. He was also a member of the British and Irish Lions team that toured South Africa in 1968, and captained the side in the third and final Test match.
In 1970, Watkins switched codes to rugby league, signing for English club Salford. He made his debut for the club in September of that year, and went on to play more than 400 games for the Red Devils over the next 12 seasons. He also represented Great Britain on six occasions, and was a member of the team that won the 1972 Rugby League World Cup.
Watkins retired from playing in 1982, and went on to become a successful coach. He led Salford to victory in the Challenge Cup in 1985, and also coached the Wales national team. He was awarded an MBE for his services to rugby league in 1995.
David Watkins died in September 2023 at the age of 81. He is survived by his wife, two children, and four grandchildren.