BRADFORD Bulls Women skipper Amy Hardcastle is like few other captains. When she is not excelling on the pitch, she is helping save lives off it.

The NHS worker is hitting Covid-19 like she does many of her opponents on the field, head on.

Hardcastle is working on the frontline, combatting the virus as an A&E healthcare assistant at Calderdale Royal Hospital.

With women’s rugby league not being a professional sport, the Super League star has been working towards one day becoming a nurse.

It is tough for all those working in the health care industry right now. Hardcastle understands the risks but believes the rewards outweigh them.

“I know I am risking my life but this is the job I have chosen and I am doing it because I want to save lives,” she said. “There is always the potential that it might not be the Covid-19 that you pick up, it could be something else.

“It is a really rewarding job and that is why you do it, because it is my caring nature and I am so passionate. I want to help people.

“If someone needs my care and it is just giving them a couple of minutes of my time and that makes them feel better, I feel like I have done my job.”

In these difficult times, Hardcastle said she is having to take measures to protect her young family, which includes nine-year-old daughter Olivia, when she returns home from a shift.

“It drives you even more because you want to do what you can do,” she said. “Although you can’t speed the process up, it gives you a bit more fight.

“I want my family, friends and community to be safe. I am coming to work to support and help that. I hope what we are all doing is reducing it and it doesn’t get worse.

“If we are working in the corona department, we have to make sure that we have face masks at all times to protect us.

“When we are dealing with potential corona patients, we have to wear a mask, goggles, aprons and gloves.

“There are also some cubicles that don’t have doors.

“I have picked up bank (extra) shifts. Our line manager may put out there that they are short the next day, so it is up to you to pick it up. I have been trying to pick it up when I can.

“It is difficult, but we have got such a good team here, and no matter what job role (the staff range from doctors to house keepers), we all work together. It really makes a difference when you have a good team.”

The country came out in their numbers again on Thursday night to clap the brilliant efforts of key workers during this crisis period.

Hardcastle believes it is just the pick me up that they need after a tough day at work.

She said: “It was very overwhelming and it just gives you that extra bit of fight when you have had a bad day and you have had tears.

“Everyone is going through different emotions, people are scared not to take it home, but when you come back to that at eight o’clock, people from the public making their way out to clap, it means so much to you.”

When asked what she thinks about the people ignoring the Government's advice of leaving your home only for essential shopping or a daily piece of exercise, Hardcastle said: “I think they are stupid.

“I think there are a lot of people who don’t think it is that bad and are a bit blasé to it. Unless you’re hit with it, then it really hits home. I think people need to appreciate what they have got right now.

“You don’t know what is round the corner. You might not think it is going to happen to you and you can act the way you do, but it will take something like this to affect you and change your state of mind.

“All I will say to people staying at home is it will all be worth it in the end and you will be alive.”

A big thank you to Hardcastle and the rest of the key workers out there.