We won't miss a beat - Brad Mooar

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Head coach Ian Foster, assistant coaches John Plumtree and Scott McLeod, and midfield pair David Havili and Jack Goodhue tested positive to the virus on Monday. They are in isolation.

 

But assistant coach Brad Mooar was confident the All Blacks had the structure to cope.

 

He said in the Covid environment for the past two years plans had been made should the virus get into the team structure.

 

"Covid has been around us for a couple of years now, and we've planned for what will happen in this situation," he said.

 

"The way that Foz [Foster] has set our group up, there is a huge amount of trust amongst everybody to (a) be able to do their job and (b) what it looks like if you're not available.

 

"We've got wonderful leaders, we've got outstanding management and we will put the week together no differently to what we would in any other situation," he said.

 

It was disappointing because, like all associated with the All Blacks squad, they had been looking forward to the resumption of Test rugby.

While Foster, Plumtree and McLeod couldn't be on the ground with the side, the coaching staff would be working in the background and had already 'zoomed' in to be part of the preparation for Ireland.

 

The transition would be seamless, he said.

 

Their daily coaches' meetings would involve everyone via Zoom communications.

 

From a team perspective, the side was rolling on in preparing for what Mooar said was 'a huge and exciting challenge.'

 

Mooar said having Joe Schmidt come in with the side ahead of time [he is due to join the coaching staff after the series] was a boost for their Tuesday and Thursday training.

 

"I'm confident, with the machine that has been set up around us, that we won't miss a beat," he said.

 

Mooar said everyone in the squad was preparing to play. With Havili and Goodhue out, the likes of a likely replacement Quinn Tupaea was no different.

 

"He's had a season of Test rugby under his belt, he did some good things on tour last year. He's a big, strong boy. He's a confident athlete, does the work and backs his skillset. That pretty much ticks a lot of boxes for me," he said.

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