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All Blacks coaches still planning for July Test series

By Online Editors
Ian Foster and Beauden Barrett. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

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Christopher Reive/NZ Herald


Despite the uncertainty around the immediate future of international fixtures, the All Blacks won’t let coronavirus stop them from planning their battle strategies for July’s test window.

The All Blacks are scheduled to welcome Wales and Scotland later this year for games in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin before turning their attention to the Rugby Championship in August.

However, the threat of the coronavirus has sent sport into a worldwide suspension with the vast majority of the world’s top sporting leagues on hiatus to avoid the spread of the virus.

Speaking to the Radio Sport Breakfast, All Blacks coach Ian Foster said while Super Rugby had been suspended due to the virus, he was planning for a future where his side’s scheduled tests would 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.

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“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.

“I think the keys are we’ve just got to find ways to stay connected when this virus is trying to pull us apart.”

Super Rugby was suspended last weekend after the announcement of New Zealand’s new border restrictions which stated anyone entering the country would have to self-isolate for 14 days. Australia announced the same rule a day later.


On returning from Argentina after the new restrictions came into action, the Highlanders have gone into self-isolation for two weeks, while most of the Chiefs and Crusaders have also self-isolated having returned from away trips abroad recently as well.

Foster said he had spoken to some players about their concerns in regards to 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.”

This article first appeared on and is republished with permission.

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All Blacks coaches still planning for July Test series