All Blacks head coach Ian Foster has revealed he’s in self-isolation, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Foster told Stuff he voluntarily entered self-isolation with his wife Leigh last Saturday at his Waikato rural retreat after returning from overseas.
They returned to New Zealand ahead of the cut off point for a mandatory lockdown enforced by the government earlier this week, but Foster felt he wanted to be cautious.
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He had been in the northern hemisphere attending a World Rugby working group before rushing back to New Zealand due to travel restrictions being put in place amid the outbreak.
“I was supposed to be going down to speak at the Scarlets club and watch the Wales-Scotland game when we woke up and realised we had to either get on a train to Wales or a train to Heathrow. So we got on the train to Heathrow,” Foster told Stuff.
“Then we were going to come home via San Diego for two days to see my daughter at university, and by the time we got to LA the university had shut anyway, and she was jumping on a plane herself.
“So we got home Saturday morning, on Sunday morning we went back up to Auckland airport to pick her up, we did a grocery shop and that’s the last that time I’ve been out of the house.”
Foster said he’d had discussions with All Blacks team doctor Tony Page around the best practice amid the pandemic and felt entering self-isolation was the smartest move.
“I wasn’t really comfortable going straight to moving around because when you go out you’re shaking hands and doing that sort of stuff. It’s not a good look,” he said.
“[Dr Page] said the best thing to do is stay at home for a week anyway. Halfway through that we’ve extended the time period which I think is smart. It was too simple walking through our borders in many ways and I kept thinking ‘oh, this doesn’t actually feel that comfortable’.
“I’m glad we made that decision, and now it’s just as easy to add another week on it. I’ve never spoken as much on the phone in my life.”
Foster, wife Leigh and their two daughters are all currently in good health.
Meanwhile, speaking to the Radio Sport Breakfast yesterday, Foster said while Super Rugby had been suspended due to the virus, he was planning for his side’s scheduled tests to go ahead.
“I had a call with the coaches yesterday. We’re getting into a certain way of talking to each other, using video, and we’re going to use this time to develop our plans for what’s coming,” Foster said.
“We don’t know when it’s going to come but that’s really irrelevant right now. What’s important is that we give ourselves some short-term tasks that are meaningful and get stuck into it.
“We’ve just got to find ways to stay connected when this virus is trying to pull us apart.”
Foster said he had spoken to some players about their concerns about the present situation.
“They’re the same as everyone else,” Foster said. “It’s when sports and society just become one; we’re not different to anyone else and everyone is concerned. Speaking to some of the players recently, it’s hard to go in and train when you don’t know what’s happening. But at the end of the day we’ve got to set ourselves short-term targets.
“The minute we start to think too far in the future, that’s when we can start to catastrophise things. So right now you just have to deal with your circumstance and if you can’t do what you normally do, you have to find a different way to get something out of each day.”
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