While Saracens scrum-half Jade Knight is used to making sacrifices, nothing comes close to the one she has made to help fellow mothers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The 31-year-old has not just put her rugby career on hold to support anxious mothers-to-be in her position as a midwife, she has stopped seeing her young son and husband to do so.

Knight attained her midwifery qualifications at Kings College London after being inspired by the support she received during her own pregnancy as she battled with the fear of giving birth.

And her dedication to delivering the best care possible to expectant mothers during the Covid-19 outbreak has meant she has been forced to live apart from her five-year-old son Emrys.

“We decided it was best for my son and partner Mark to go to northern Lincolnshire, so Emrys isn’t with me at the moment and that is tough in its own right,” Knight said. 

“I am having to pick up a lot more shifts because our staff are poorly at the moment as well. I know that women are scared and I feel like I need to be there for them right now.

“I do not even think about potentially getting coronavirus, I think it is irrelevant because right now I have to be there for these women.”

Knight had been on the cusp of a international first cap for Wales at the 2014 Women’s Six Nations before a positive reading on a pregnancy test turned her world upside down.

The unexpected pregnancy was a shock to Knight, who had just overcome a series of knee injuries, but the experience of giving birth motivated her to become a midwife.

“I had a huge fear of giving birth,” Knight explained, speaking after finishing a night shift at St. Mary’s Hospital in London.

“The support and mental change I had made me want to become a midwife because so many women are petrified - all they need is the right emotional support and guidance to make a massive impact on their birth and transition into motherhood.

“I was like, 'this is my calling. This is what I need to do'.”

In addition to becoming a midwife, Knight finally achieved that elusive Wales cap when she was called up to the 2018 Six Nations squad – a feat she had written off after she fell pregnant.

“I thought that when I fell pregnant it was the end of rugby,” Knight explained.

“I didn’t think I would ever come back and, at the time, we did not have many players that had come back so the coaches thought the same as me. I also come from a culture that when you have a child you put them first over everything.

“But then while I was I was pregnant I thought why should I follow the culture and the pressures that society put on me? I thought, I have lost time through injury so I am going to refuse to lose any more opportunities.

"It was combined with the fact I wanted my son to grow up and grab every opportunity he has and I could not tell him to do that unless I had done it myself.”

While few female rugby players return after pregnancy and many take early retirement to start a family, Knight hopes her experience of breaking down boundaries can inspire others.

“I want to see a lot more support to mothers in sport because from a midwifery perspective if a woman can have a baby in her 20s or before 35 she is in a better place and they can return to rugby in a better place if given a good support network,” she added.

“I think we would attract more females to sport if they knew they could have children while they were still playing and could come back. I think we will start seeing it more and more, so clubs will have to start supporting it.”

And Knight admits there is no better feeling in the world to be able to play elite level rugby while her son watches from the stands - even when he dished out some constructive criticism.

“It is amazing having him at games, it means everything to me,” she said.

“I look for him in the stands when I walk out and he has this thing where he shouts, ‘Mummy keep your hair on!’ - I hear that and it makes me laugh.

“He does say some really random things sometimes. Like he tells me to hold the ball with two hands or says ‘You have to pass it through players, mummy!’

“After a bad game it is really important because it gives me a lot of perspective.”