As sport takes a backseat amid the Covid-19 Coronavirus crisis, players and Unions have been playing a role in sharing good quality information and giving fans an outlet as self-isolation and social distancing strategies are applied by governments across the six nations.
The French Rugby Federation has launched a #RestezChezVousChallenge for those in self-isolation – on Monday, French president Emmanuel Macron said citizens must stay at home from midday on Tuesday for at least 15 days.
The campaign was kicked off by France Rugby on Twitter on Tuesday morning and featured selfies from stars of the French men’s and women’s teams – Caroline Boujard, Stephen Parez, Romain Ntamack and Caroline Drouin.
France supporters who are self-isolating due to the effects of the pandemic have been invited to respond with their own “beautiful photos from your sofa” to help each other through their #QuarantineLife.
With parents now finding ways to entertain their children, the French Union had a great idea as they sent out some drawings to be coloured in.
While the French Union was sharing good information the training didn’t stop for full-back Anthony Bouthier, keeping those legs in shape for more monster clearance kicks when rugby resumes.
The Irish Rugby Football Union also released a statement on behalf of themselves and their players, marking St Patrick’s Day and praising the efforts of those ‘working so hard to help us through these difficult times’.
Mass gatherings have been banned in Ireland for the next fortnight, with pubs and bars also shut until March 29 at the earliest.
With people spending more time at home and with extra minutes on their hands, there was occasion to look back at one of the greatest international hat-tricks ever:
Aside from the IRFU, there was also plenty of solidarity from Irish players and Guinness Ireland in encouraging people to stay as safe as possible through social distancing.
Not just limited to Ireland, Italy’s interim head coach Franco Smith delivered the same message of solidarity, asking people to make sacrifices and stay at home.
Italy’s players meanwhile had earlier recorded a touching post on Saturday 14 March – the day the Azzurri men had been due to take on England in the Guinness Six Nations. The message reading: ‘Sport has stopped, but we are always together, our anthem is for the whole of Italian rugby’.
Azzurri flanker Maxime Mbanda is right into the thick of his community’s action against Covid-19, volunteering with the Italian Yellow Cross.
Former Italy scrum-half Paul Griffen also had a message for fans.
On the same day, the Welsh Rugby Union posted this fitting tribute to former player Matthew Watkins:
Staying in Wales and Championship great Shane Williams was going to long, or short, lengths to keep busy whilst in isolation:
Former Scotland star Tim Visser, meanwhile, is among those helping out his local community in light of the enforced rise in self-isolation.
Visser, who scored five Championship tries during an international career which saw him earn 33 Scotland caps between 2013 and 2017, took to social media on Tuesday morning with his offer of support to those living nearby.
And where Visser ventures, current Wales prop Rob Evans also goes, offering his time to help out his local community:
To help stave off the boredom of being at home, Scotland decided to remind their supporters of some of their greatest wins – starting with a full replay of their victory against Australia in 2017.
In England on Monday, as expected, Premiership Rugby announced the season would be suspended for at least five weeks, while EPCR stated their quarter-finals would be postponed and the RFU suspended all other rugby.
England wing Ollie Thorley has been doing his bit, helping social contact by making calls to those in isolation.
Guinness have also taken it upon themselves to provide support to those in need: