Wales and Dragons midfielder Jamie Roberts has broken his silence on his positive Covid-19 test in August. A host on the RugbyPass Offload along with England’s Dylan Hartley, Ireland’s Simon Zebo and Scotland’s Ryan Wilson, the veteran centre reflected on what happened to him two months ago and wonders how the virus outbreak this past week was so huge at Sale.
“First off, I’m very grateful for the testing procedure because I would not have known otherwise. I had no symptoms when I tested,” said recent Dragons recruit Roberts during his appearance on the debut show of the new RugbyPass podcast.
“I literally got a phone call from my head of medical Friday night. He messaged me saying, ‘Can you call me urgently?’ I was thinking, ‘Why is my head of medical messaging me on Friday night with an urgent call?’ I kind of knew when he messaged me and I was thinking, ‘I am lucky, I have been tested and I didn’t have a clue’.
“That is the problem with this virus – it’s spreading like wildfire, people are asymptomatic, they are carrying it and spreading it. Look, I’m grateful I got tested. Luckily, no other players tested positive, nor did my partner nor did any members of my family. That was the first thing I was grateful for. I lost my taste for a little bit.
“Has it made me change behaviours? It probably has just around handshakes and fist bumpings, just keeping my distance. It’s just being more wary. I probably have taken it more seriously and that’s like anything, as soon as it affects you or someone close to you it kind of hits home how this virus can affect people.”
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Explaining how Dragons go about their business in trying to keep Covid away from their squad, Roberts gave an insight into the monitoring conducted by the Welsh region and wondered what had gone so wrong at Sale where 27-positive cases – 19 last week and a further eight this week – put an end to the Premiership title challenge.
“All our meetings (at Dragons) are held social distant,” he explained. “We have got a big tent outside. They are not in meeting rooms anymore. They are making sure that everything is recorded. Even gym sessions are filmed.
“You come in and get your temperature taken every day and basically if they identify a positive case they can track through all that footage and identify close contacts who would need to self-isolate. The big question on everyone lips is Sale, how they managed to get to 19 positive cases, how they had gone from zero to 19? That is the big question.
“All it takes is for one person. That wouldn’t surprise me if that has come from one person who has gone around the squad, been in team huddles, been in the gym, face to face with people in training. That’s how virulent this thing is.
“There is also the potential for a false negative as well, that people may have the virus but actually test negative and they have been offloading the virus and been contagious and didn’t know about it. I don’t know, there’s loads of different things. Steve Diamond has obviously refuted any claims the lads were out partying after the (Premiership Cup) final. I doubt the players would do anything that stupid.
“I know it’s a Cup win but surely a conversation is had in the changing rooms? Surely you can’t go out and meet people in pubs or university halls or whatever they have been blamed of doing? I sincerely doubt that.”
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