All Blacks coach gets advice from Rugby League star
SPOTLIGHT: All Blacks coach Ian Foster has sought insight from former National Rugby League (NRL) star Roger Tuivasa-Sheck on how the Warriors coped with being away from home due to COVID-19 restrictions as his own team prepares for months on the road.
Tuivasa-Sheck was captain of the Warriors – the only New Zealand side in Australia’s NRL, who have had to base themselves in Gosford through two seasons and not play at home in Auckland due to border closures and travel curbs – until his early release in July to commence his Rugby Union contract.
The All Blacks, now in Perth, may not return to New Zealand until after their Northern Hemisphere tour wraps up in November.
“I’ve had a good chat to Roger Tuivasa-Sheck in Auckland before we left about what it was like over there and some of the things that were working,” Foster told New Zealand radio station Newstalk ZB.
“Because, particularly the Warriors, they’ve done an amazing job.
“I know they haven’t got the results that they wanted but it’s been an amazing circumstance what they’ve had to go through.
“There have been some lessons out of there.”
The All Blacks face the Wallabies in their second match of the Rugby Championship in Perth on Sunday, after thumping them 57-22 at home at Eden Park on August 14 in the second of three Bledisloe Cup Tests.
They then head east to Queensland for the remainder of the Rugby Championship, which organisers have rescheduled several times due to the fluid COVID-19 situation in Australia and New Zealand.
“I think the key is that we don’t treat any week as being the same as the last one. We just look at where the group is at and what we feel we need,” Foster said.