A rugby player has gone from Scotland’s front row to the frontline fight against coronavirus.
Molly Wright only made her debut for the national women’s rugby team in January before the Covid-19 crisis shut down sport across the globe.
The NHS physiotherapist then found herself deployed to helping rehabilitate patients who are recovering from the disease.
The 29-year-old admitted it has been all-change for her – but she hopes to put the weeks of social distance to good use by returning fitter and stronger – whenever rugby is given the go-ahead to resume.
‘It’s nice because I have an opportunity to actually help. I can make a difference for people at a time when it is a bit strange.’Molly Wright
Wright said: “You know, it is disappointing on a personal level but to be honest this pandemic is far bigger than rugby and my career so it’s just been put on hold.
“It’s nice because I have an opportunity to actually help. I can make a difference for people at a time when it is a bit strange.
“The biggest change for me is probably in training – I got a training programme to do at home.
“So my mornings are spent doing resistance training at home, then I go to work, and in the evening I do my running.”
“[Returning to rugby] is constantly something that you are looking forward to and it is a big lifestyle change from spending most of your time training with your group of friends to then not being able to see them.
“It does make training more challenging to keep motivated. We don’t [know when rugby can start up again] at all and I wish I did because it would make things easier.
“For me it is an opportunity to try to get fitter and stronger and to try and cement my place in the Scotland squad.”
Wright is from New Zealand’s South Island but moved to the UK after playing rugby at provincial level for Otago and Christchurch.
She moved to Scotland in January 2017 and so became eligible to play for Scotland after three years residency in her new home.
She made her international debut in the 36-12 victory over Spain on January 19 this year – scoring a try and coming off the bench in the first half.
She said winning her first cap meant the world to her family who were watching from the other side of the globe.
Wright, who plays her club rugby with Watsonians in Edinburgh, said: “My mum has never been a particularly big fan of rugby but she’s now Scottish Rugby’s biggest fan and my dad was very emotional on my first cap.
“They both got up in the middle of the night to watch the game so that was pretty special for them and for me.
“I got a whole load of lovely messages from my family who were all trying to hunt down their nearest Scottish relative so they could claim some kind of kinship with them.”
After earning further caps against Ireland and England before the 2020 Women’s Six Nations was curtailed by the Coronavirus pandemic Wright saw enough from being in head coach Philip Doyle’s squad to believe that the team is heading in the right direction.
Wright added: “I’m new into this group but the feeling that I got is they are very tight knit and what I was hearing was that the team was ready to move forward.
“That’s probably our goal – to improve as a squad and put our performances that we are proud of.”