Wales’ Jamie Roberts. Picture: REUTERS / RUSSELL CHEYNE
Wales’ Jamie Roberts. Picture: REUTERS / RUSSELL CHEYNE

Cardiff — Former Wales centre Jamie Roberts has set aside his rugby kit and begun working for Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) to help front-line workers battle the coronavirus pandemic while the rugby season remains suspended.

Roberts is contracted to Cape Town-based Super Rugby side the Stormers but returned to Wales after the Super Rugby season was suspended due to the outbreak.

The 33-year-old, who graduated as a doctor, will work as a clinical innovation fellow during his temporary assignment with the Cardiff and Vale Health Board.

“Although I’ve never worked clinically, I just thought I could lend an extra pair of hands and an extra brain into helping solve the challenge,” Roberts told the Welsh Rugby Union website.

“My role here is to help motivate staff, help the communications team make sure we get the right messages across to the public, and playing my role within an unbelievable team.”

Roberts, who made 94 appearances for the Welsh national team, believes the nation needs to present a united front in the battle against the flu-like virus, which has killed more than 6,100 people in the UK.

“I really feel this could be Wales’ greatest team, if that makes sense,” he added. “We have a problem to solve here in the country and if we all buy in, the sooner we will overcome the problem. However insignificant your role may seem, we all have a very important role to play.” 

Reuters