From Roberts' generous NHS gesture to Mbanda joining Italian Yellow Cross... how rugby has reacted to pandemic
With all rugby in Europe suspended for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus pandemic, players have been doing their bit in different ways to help their communities. According to walesonline.co.uk, Jamie Roberts – who is currently living in Cape Town while with the Stormers – has offered his flat in Cardiff to NHS staff who need it.
The ex-Wales and British and Irish Lions centre, who is a doctor himself, has opted to remain in South Africa for the time being but still has a flat near the University Hospital of Wales. The Welsh great is just one of many players doing their bit to help amid this health crisis.
@CV_UHB Have a 2 bed flat free in Pontcanna for next three weeks if needed by any of your staff. Get in touch ??
— Jamie Roberts (@Jamiehuwroberts) March 19, 2020
During a period in which people are being encouraged to limit social interaction, with even the recommendation that those over 70 years of age do not leave their houses, there is a British-wide appeal to help those who are most vulnerable at this time.
Wasps have started an initiative where their players call fans who are in isolation at the moment. England’s Brand Shields and Dan Robson have got the ball rolling, as has winger Josh Bassett, as Wasps aim to get as many people involved. Other clubs such as Gloucester and Leicester have made fan calls.
? So good to speak to one of our fans Brian just now! He’s stuck at home alone and can’t see his grandchildren but thankfully he’s doing fine!
Please #MakeThatCall to someone important!
— Brad Shields (@brad_shields) March 18, 2020
So good to catch up with Wasps fan Peter!! It’s so important for us to stay connected during this difficult time – but we can do it by sticking together.
I’d like to nominate @_JoshBassett @robmiller89 @joe_launch to #MakeThatCall! #WeAreWasps #OurCommunity pic.twitter.com/FAwtESzPC6
— Dan Robson (@d_jrobson) March 18, 2020
Absolute pleasure! Was lovely to speak to them. Especially finding out my nickname is twinkle toes ? @WaspsRugby want as many people as possible to get involved ? #MakeThatCall #OurCommunity #WeAreWasps https://t.co/TXnsRX3dXh
— Josh Bassett (@_JoshBassett) March 19, 2020
Thanks @d_jrobson for the nomination. During this tough period, it’s vital that we pull together and keep an extra eye out for one another. Social isolation can be reduced with just one… https://t.co/C4Cot45yjt
— Rob Miller (@robmiller89) March 19, 2020
Tigers back-rower @GuyThompson87 – with the help of his best mate Jax ? – checked in on Tigers supporter Michael Gaunt, who has been a Season Ticket Holder for more than 1?8? years.
— Leicester Tigers (@LeicesterTigers) March 19, 2020
— Gloucester Rugby (@gloucesterrugby) March 19, 2020
Elsewhere, Wales prop Rob Evans has offered on Twitter to help get food to the elderly while being off training. So too has ex-Scotland and Harlequins winger Tim Visser. They are typical of rugby people making good use of the free time they have on their hands at the moment.
Just want to say to anyone around the Pembrokeshire area, I’m off training so if any of the elderly or any one needs help with getting food or whatever just let me know. Here to help ?? #freeagent
— Rob Evans (@Revsprop1) March 18, 2020
— Tim Visser (@timbovisser) March 17, 2020
The 27-year-old has shared photos on Instagram of himself clad in a decontamination suit as well as the Yellow Cross uniform, working in the country that has suffered the most deaths outside of China as a result of the virus.
View this post on Instagram
Il mio KIT e la mia SQUADRA ai tempi del COVID-19. @seirs.crocegialla.parma ? Un consiglio: SE SEI GIOVANE, NON VIVI CON ANZIANI O PERSONE CON MALATTIE PREGRESSE E PROPRIO NON RIESCI A STARE IN CASA CON LE MANI IN MANO, PROVA A FARE UNA CHIAMATA ALLA PUBBLICA ASSISTENZA ANPAS DELLA TUA CITTÀ’, POTREBBERO AVERE BISOGNO DI TE! ?
WATCH: Freddie Burns takes RugbyPass through his fitness regime during the coronavirus lockdown
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now