What does your average large, tattooed ruby player do during lockdown?

The answer, in the case of Jessie Joe Parker is simple - you sew face masks,

Parker, 35, from Papua New Guinea, is a professional rugby player playing centre for Whitehaven Rugby League Club, but he has been showing his other talents in recent days.

“Joanne Henry, my girlfriend Louise’s sister, was making extensions for face masks. I said I could do some.

“I think they didn’t believe me at first, but my mother taught me to sew.”

He was put to work and the doubters have become believers.

“They gave me 57 to do at first and now I have done 159 altogether. I am enjoying it. It is giving me something to do.”

The masks are being made for the Put Your Crafty Pants On group which has sewers from all over Cumbria making masks.

It is a fact, however, that not many of them are hulking great rugby players but this particular athlete is proving that he has talents off the field as well as on it.

Parker, who has represented Papua New Guinea 13 times, including at two world cups, has played for Whitehaven since 2012 . He made his debut in a Good Friday derby in 2012 just over 24 hours from landing in the country.

It has become home, though, and he is in the process of applying for British citizenship.Whitehaven have requested a testimonial from the RFL this season for the popular centre.

Haven chairman Tom Todd said: “It would be great for Jessie to have this testimonial at Whitehaven, where he’s proved enormously popular."

He and fellow Papua New Guinean Dion Aiye have signed up for the 2020 season once it starts.

“We don’t know when we will be able to play again,” he said this week. "Until it does I will just keep sewing.”