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Rob Penney's lock-down struggles: 'I miss them terribly'

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Rob Penney. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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New South Waratahs coach Rob Penney could be separated from his family for a number of weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Penney, who coached Canterbury to four New Zealand provincial titles before taking up stints with Munster and the Shining Arcs in Japan, recently came on board as the Waratahs’ head coach.

While Penney relocated to Australia for his new role, his family have returned to Christchurch.

As if the big man doesn’t get confused enough, this riddle had Jim Hamilton in a right twist:

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New Zealand is entering a lock-down state on Wednesday evening in order to stymy the tide of coronavirus transmissions and flights between Australia and NZ have sharply declined due to the disease.

Although Penney has previously returned home this year, mandatory two-week isolation periods after arriving in New Zealand from any other nation have put a stop to regular visits and Penney is now trying to tie up any loose ends before he can hopefully head home.


“I’ve got a wife and three sons and I miss them terribly at the moment,” Penney told The Sydney Morning Herald. “I hope to be able to see them at some point in the near future. I’ve got a very small window and we’ll just see what happens.

“I’ve got commitments here and that I’ve got to make sure I can contend with first, and then we’ll see what unfolds over the next few days.”

Penney reiterated to the Herald that rugby is going through an incredibly trying time at present, with major and minor competitions around the world called to a halt.

Seven rounds of Super Rugby (minus one game in Argentina) were completed before the tournament was put on hiatus.


There were hopes that localised, mini Super tournaments might have been possible but the latest COVID developments have effectively scuppered any chances of any rugby taking place in the near future.

Penney’s Waratahs are currently sitting second from the bottom of the Super Rugby table and have recorded just one win this season against a travelling Lions outfit.

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