Jamie Roberts has described his feeling of extreme sadness at seeing the Principality Stadium transformed into a 2,000-bed field hospital during the coronavirus pandemic. The veteran midfielder earned 48 of his 94 Wales caps at the Welsh rugby cathedral and he never imagined seeing the ground where he fought for honour and glory in front of sold-out 72,000 attendances transformed into what it currently is.
With his stint in Super Rugby curtailed due to the virus outbreak, Roberts flew back from the Stormers and set about putting his sudden free time to good use as an NHS volunteer working for Cardiff and Vale health board.
This led to the 33-year-old qualified doctor paying a visit on Monday to the Cardiff stadium where he earned his last Wales cap versus New Zealand in November 2017.
What confronted him at the new Dragon’s Heart hospital left him feeling emotional, according to his blog. “The President’s Lounge on level 5 of the stadium holds many fond memories as well as a few bad ones!
“My emotions felt completely different visiting the lounge this afternoon as it’s been transformed into a hospital ward to treat Covid patients.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 13, 2020
“The efforts of the Welsh Rugby Union and each worker that has helped transformed the stadium are certainly nothing short of heroic.
“I took a wander up to level 6 to have a lookout over the pitch. The size of the operation below gave rise to a feeling of extreme sadness, yet it felt important to focus on its purpose. That is to save life.
“We are all hoping for the best but those in charge are rightly planning for the worst. In a way, we hope the stadium work is in vain.”
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