British rugby stars stranded abroad after airline shutdowns

CORONAVIRUS has caused countries to close their borders and airlines to reduce or cancel many services, leaving swathes of British rugby players being stuck abroad.

Wales centre Jamie Roberts has decided to stay in South Africa amid the global coronavirus pandemic.

Roberts, who plays for Super Rugby’s Cape Town-based Stormers, had hoped to travel back to the UK to renew his visa, which is due to expire at the end of April but is unable to travel.

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“The main worry in South Africa is the quality of the healthcare system and people’s access to it,” the 97-cap international, who is a Cardiff University medical graduate, told The Daily Mail.

“I’ve only been here a few months. You just hope something as fast spreading as coronavirus doesn’t get into the townships. That’s the biggest worry here.”

Meanwhile, his former Bath teammate James Wilson is stuck in Japan.

He tweeted: “Wishing I could be at home. As much as I want to be playing rugby right now here in Japan, and this is coming from a guy that won’t get to play many more, I don’t want to be away from my family any longer.

“I am hoping the Top League do right by the players tomorrow.”

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