Bok Women's captain Latsha describes fear in Europe over COVID-19

Babalwa Latsha plays for Spanish side SD Eibar Femenino and has described the situation in Spain and Europe after the Spanish Rugby Federation suspended all games due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Cristina Guntín, coach of the women's rugby team SD Eibar Femenino, and the club's new signing, Babalwa Latsha. Picture: @BabalwaLatsha/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Springbok Women's team captain Babalwa Latsha, who plies her trade in Spain, has encouraged the public to take the necessary precautions against the coronavirus outbreak.

Latsha plays for Spanish side SD Eibar Femenino after joining the side earlier this year.

The Spanish Rugby Federation has added another week to its two-week suspension of all rugby leagues.

Speaking exclusively to EWN Sport from Eibar in Spain, Latsha said that she decided to spend the break back home in Cape Town, South Africa.

Latsha said although she was a little bit scared, the world of sport needed to take all the necessary precautions.

"I think it is best to take the necessary precautions of the outbreak even if it's suspending or cancelling all sporting events, of course, a lot of the sports is our life. They need to value our livelihood more, [so it makes] more sense that we stay alert and cancel everything if needs be," said Latsha.

"This is a real problem, a global problem and personally I am taking the necessary precautions but I am a little bit afraid."

She said it's difficult to bounce back from the break caused by the virus outbreak.

"It's difficult to say at this stage because the virus is so rife mostly in Europe where I am situated and most athletes will understand that their livelihoods and bodies are their assets," she said from Eibar.

"For athletes to take care of their bodies is the number one priority. I think the short term we can overcome and bounce back, training and coaches can always assist. But we need to take the authority's advice."

The 25-year-old, who became the first South African female rugby player to showcase her talents in Europe after getting a professional contract, said her family back in Cape Town were keeping her up to date about the virus in South Africa.

"Players in Spain, for at least for my club, we have been advised not to participate in any type of training that includes full training and gym, we've been forced to stay indoors. As far as I know, none of our players have been tested nor have I. We, therefore, do not know if anyone has the virus," said the Springbok Women's prop.

"I am in contact with my family and I talk to them regularly - they keep me updated in terms of what is going back home regarding the pandemic. They are very worried about me. They want me home which is why I will be heading home Tuesday morning and will be in quarantine upon arriving home. I will get tested for the coronavirus as soon as possible."