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Thread: All Blacks coach and players hit by COVID

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    All Blacks coach and players hit by COVID

    Mon, 27/06/2022, 7:51 am
    Melissa Woods - AAP


    All Blacks coach Ian Foster and captain Ardie Savea speak to media in Townsville.New Zealand's preparations for their opening Test against Ireland have been rocked with head coach Ian Foster and his assistant John Plumtree as well as two key players all testing positive for COVID-19.

    Midfielders David Havili and Jack Goodhue as well as the coaches are in isolation after contracting the virus and have been kept away from the team in Auckland.

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    Their Crusaders teammate Braydon Ennor has been called in as a replacement.

    Foster said that they were prepared for the scenario and he was confident all would go to plan for the Eden Park clash.

    "We've had a plan for this happening, and it's a great opportunity for the wider coaching group and the senior players, who will be highly motivated to step up," Foster said in a statement.

    "We have learned how to cope with the unexpected, like everyone has over the past couple of years.

    "I will still be working alongside the coaches and team via Zoom and I have huge faith in the coaching group and the players.

    "We have structures in place and everyone is working together."


    Foster has asked Joe Schmidt come in to help the team prepare this week with a third All Blacks Coach Scott McLeod, testing positive for Covid 19.

    “Joe will come in for Tuesday and Thursday’s trainings this week, and we’re really grateful to have his help.”

    “We’ve planned for this kind of disruption and we’ve got back up plans and people on standby. Joe was one of those people we could call on."

    “I’ve got every confidence in our coaching group, and in our senior leaders who are all stepping up in what’s a massive test for us.”

    Havili was expected to start at inside centre with Chiefs' ace Quinn Tupaea his likely replacement.

    Ex NRL star Roger Tuivasa-Sheck could now be in line for a spot on the bench, which may see him make his Test debut.

    https://www.rugby.com.au/news/all-bl...-covid-2022626

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Farrell says Ireland fired up by New Zealand taunts
    Sun, 26/06/2022, 1:44 pm
    AFP



    New Zealand's attempts to rattle Ireland before the first Test may backfire, with the tourists' coach Andy Farrell saying his side have been made stronger by "backhanded compliments".

    "A year out from the World Cup we want to find out more about ourselves and it's the perfect place to be," Farrell said, responding to his team's reception in New Zealand that has included an advertising campaign taunting his side.

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    "A Test match against the All Blacks doesn't get more challenging, but at the same time it's where we want to be," Farrell added.

    Ireland have been targeted by an advertising campaign run by the New Zealand betting agency TAB, which has highlighted how they have never beaten the All Blacks in New Zealand.

    One advertisement says "0 wins in NZ" and another: "Think the flight was long? Try a 28-year unbeaten streak at Eden Park".

    A third said "4 Kiwis in the team. That might help your odds a little," referring to Ireland's four New Zealand-born players Jamison Gibson-Park, Bundee Aki, Joey Carbery and James Lowe.

    Farrell said that All Blacks fans had also been quick to pile in with their opinions when the Ireland players were out and about, but he said the reception just made his players stronger.

    "The challenges are there to make us better, to make us stronger," said Farrell on Saturday.

    "Walk through the streets of Auckland, there's always a backhanded compliment which is great. We expect that."

    Ireland have brought 40 players to New Zealand, with Farrell stressing everyone will get a run either in the Tests or in the two matches against the New Zealand Maori.

    "We are certainly open-minded enough to see how people perform in those big games, those two Maori games, and leave places up for grabs in the Test spot," he said.

    "We embrace this tour together. We're certainly not two sides, we're one team trying to do the best we can together."


    Ireland last toured New Zealand in 2012 when they lost all three Tests, including a narrow 22-19 defeat when sunk by an 80th-minute Dan Carter drop goal followed by a 60-0 thumping a week later.

    They have since beaten the All Blacks three times, most recently seven months ago when they won 29-20 in Dublin.

    The first match, against the New Zealand Maori, is in Hamilton on Wednesday, with the first Test in Auckland on Saturday.

    Farrell replaced New Zealander Joe Schmidt as Ireland's coach after the 2019 World Cup -- when Ireland were knocked out in the quarter-finals by the All Blacks -- with Schmidt to become an All Blacks selector in August.

    https://www.rugby.com.au/news/all-bl...taunts-2022626

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    I've always leaned towards Ireland, as long as the Wobblies aren't involved. That just got dialled up a couple of notches.

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    More NZ COVID outs ahead of Ireland Test
    Staff Writers
    AP
    June 28, 2022 8:57AM


    A COVID-19 outbreak that has hit the All Blacks squad ahead of the first Test against Ireland has broadened with winger Will Jordan becoming the third player and sixth squad member affected.

    Head coach Ian Foster, assistants John Plumtree and Scott McLeod and players David Havili and Jack Goodhue are already isolating after testing positive.

    Jordan, who was certain to start in Saturday's clash at Auckland's Eden Park, was added to the list of affected players on Tuesday.

    The 24-year-old was one of three players remaining in the squad not to have caught COVID. Extra precautions are being taken with the remaining two.

    His loss is a major blow to the All Blacks who already face the prospect of a backline reshuffle because of the loss of midfielders Havili and Goodhue. Jordan has scored 17 tries in 13 appearances for New Zealand and scored 10 tries for the Crusaders during their Super Rugby Pacific-winning season.

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    His place in New Zealand's starting 15 will likely go to teammate Sevu Reece while another Crusader in centre/winger Braydon Ennor has been called into the squad.

    Richie Mo'unga also missed training on Tuesday with a stomach bug, but he has not tested positive to COVID and is expected to rejoin the team later this week.

    Assistant coaches Greg Feek and Brad Mooar are currently coaching the All Blacks team while Foster, Plumtree and McLeod isolate at home. Former Ireland coach and Kiwi Joe Schmidt, who was due to join the team later this year, has started early to assist the depleted coaching group.

    https://www.perthnow.com.au/sport/ru...test-c-7323167

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