Durban - Cardiff rugby players stranded in Cape Town are suffering panic attacks and there are concerns over their mental health, according to reports from Wales.
Cardiff were supposed to play the Lions last Sunday but when news of the Omicron variant broke on the Thursday night, prompting the UK government to thrust South Africa onto its travel red list, Cardiff called off the game and made urgent travel plans to flee the country.
But this became complicated when two of their players tested positive for Covid-19 — one of them the omicron variant — and the squad turned around as they approached the airport and returned to their hotel to go into isolation for 14 days.
The other overseas teams due to play last weekend also unilaterally chose not to play and while another Welsh team, the Scarlets, managed to make it to Belfast in Northern Ireland, where they are in isolation, Ireland’s Munster is also still marooned in South Africa.
The fourth visiting team, Zebre, made it back to Italy.
The Wales Online website has reported that there is increasing concern over the well-being of the Cardiff squad.
“We have got reports of people having panic attacks, we have reports of anxiety and mental health issues,” a source from the Cardiff squad said.
“We are having to put the Wales Rugby Union’s mental well-being officer on constant call.”
The main travelling party of 48 is in one Cape Town hotel, while the two positive Covid-19 cases are in another, going through 14 days of isolation.