All Blacks coach in isolation after northern European visit
WELLINGTON – New All Blacks coach Ian Foster is in self-isolation after returning to New Zealand from a trip to Britain and Europe.
Foster returned last Saturday, a day before the New Zealand government required all travelers arriving in New Zealand to undergo a 14-day period of self-isolation.
But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also called on people who arrived in New Zealand ahead of the midnight Sunday deadline to voluntarily self-isolate if they had been in areas where the coronavirus had been recorded.
Foster told the Stuff news website he cut short his visit during a World Rugby scrum seminar in Paris to return to New Zealand as nations imposed increasingly strict travel restrictions.
"I was supposed to be going down to speak at the Scarlets club and watch the Wales-Scotland game when we woke up and realized we had to either get on a train to Wales or a train to Heathrow," Foster said. "So we got on the train to Heathrow."
Foster, who was an assistant to Steve Hansen before taking over as All Blacks head coach in December, said he is still planning for mid-year tests against Wales and Scotland in New Zealand though those matches seem increasingly unlikely to take place.
"There is an uncertainty about what our program is going to look like but there are some things I know for certain," he said. “We are in a period when everyone has been stretched financially and when opportunities do arise out the other side the All Blacks are going be a mechanism that is going to help get our game back on its feet very, very quickly.”
“We have to be ready to go wherever and whenever that is," Foster said. "In the meantime we're using this time to get some off-field projects done, to test some things we want do on the park and have some plans for teams we might be playing.”