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Every day, when she gets home, Sacha Casañas undresses by the door, leaves her clothes in an isolated place , immediately showers and disinfects medical instruments. A very different routine from the usual one for a professional rugby player who should face the decisive matches of the season until May. But the health crisis of the coronavirus has caused it to file "without expecting anything in return" by the Spanish Health Service. With the competition stopped, this Argentine forward of the VRAC Quesos Entrepinares, current league champion, joined the Emergency Service of the Hospital Clinico Universitario de Valladolid a few days ago as a volunteer.
"My gateway to Spain is my job as a rugby player, my payroll is as an athlete," he tells by phone to illustrate that the offer stems from his vocation. "I do not intend to be paid for this, I know that the situation is complicated," he continues. If on the grass his physical conditions (1'90 in height and 105 kilos), his work and his game give him prominence in the team that aspired to revalidate the title, in the hospital his role is based on supporting: "I had no experience practically, but I wanted to help, to get a little work ahead knowing what my limitations are. "
In a health center where the area dedicated to those infected by the coronavirus "has been expanding", the first destination of Casañas has been the Emergency Department for other pathologies . There he receives patients who, as he has observed, wait too long to come and whose picture sometimes "may also correspond to Covid-19, so we cannot let our guard down." He cares about his symptoms and medical history to make it easier for "the doctor in charge" to make the appropriate decisions.
They are his first steps in Medicine because he finished his degree a month ago , on a trip to Argentina where he took the last exam and presented the practices he had undergone at the same Valladolid hospital where he now volunteers. But his title has been withheld "for lack of a signature."
The Argentine player, who soon stood out among the prolific youth academy in Buenos Aires, feels that he developed his professional vocation from rugby. "I got into trauma," he says. His first diagnosis was made on his right knee. After a tear of the cruciate ligaments and two months of closure due to the swine flu in which he could not strengthen it properly, he again felt discomfort and predicted that it had been torn again. This was stated in the report that his father had hidden from him so as not to give him the bad news yet.
Since entering the University, both in Argentina and in Spain, Casañas has tried to combine studies and sports. Except when you put on your boots. "I am a player on the field. Many times, before a game, my teammates come to consult me about discomfort and I try to make them understand that I am focused. I let the doctors and physios do their job, they are more capable."
Last October, the Spanish Rugby Medical Commission praised his quick reaction to treat a rival who had suffered a strong blow : "I saw that it was potentially dangerous, it instinctively came to immobilize his cervicals." Although the shocked man was able to leave the field on his own foot, for the Sacha Casañas file, there remains the photo in which he appears lying with his hands under the neck of the injured man.
Unlike other foreign professionals who militate in Spanish groups, Casañas chose not to return to his country when the confinement was announced to face the pandemic. He valued the possibility with his wife and they decided to stay, even though they were aware that the contagion could come. "You take all the measures," explains the second line, "but it is in our hands to a certain point, sooner or later we will all suffer it ...". It was then when, in agreement with his partner, he decided to respond to the request for volunteers.
At 26, the striker does not yet know if he can fulfill his plans next season: "My intention was to continue playing and start the homologation of the title, which is a process that takes a long time and will be delayed even further. My idea it was to stay in Spain, prepare the MIR and specialize . "
Sacha Casañas tries to stay in shape although the Honor Division clubs have already decided, due to their delicate economic situation and the uncertainty of the sponsors, not to play more this season without waiting for the Federation to suspend the League.
Where they do coincide and others is in the mobilization against the medical emergency. El Salvador de Valladolid and the CAU of Valencia, for example, have organized the production of masks and the Complutense Cisneros de Madrid has been involved in blood donation. The Federation itself has raised more than 10,000 euros in donations to bring coffee, soft drinks, fruit and other products to the health personnel of the IFEMA field hospital. Everyone wants to convey that rugby continues to shoulder, this season against a rival who does not come from the front.
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