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Watson was in charge of the All Blacks in 1979-80, firstly in 1980 on an unsuccessful tour of Australia but then later in the year on a more distinguished one to Wales.
Before joining the national selection panel Watson had a long tenure coaching Otago and then the national under 23 side which had an upset win over the All Blacks in 1973.
As a midfield back Watson played once for Otago in 1946 but had a much more extensive provincial record as a cricketer, representing Otago in Plunket Shield matches as an all rounder over a decade for much of the 1950s and scoring one century.
Watson died at Leslie Groves Hospital in Dunedin on Saturday, surrounded by family.