ABs, coaches isolating with Covid ahead of Irish clash

updated By Will Trafford

Update 2:04 PM:

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

The ABs’ head coach and several players are benched, after a Covid outbreak hit the camp amid preparations for Saturday’s test against Ireland.

Ian Foster and forwards coach John Plumtree are already both isolating, while David Havili and Jack Goodhue have been removed from the lineup due to positive Covid-19 tests.

Crusaders centre Braydon Ennor will fill the gap in the squad.

Foster says he'll still be working with the team via zoom, but that it gives the opportunity for the rest of the coaching staff to try their hand at the helm.

Scrum coach Greg Feek (Ngāti Kahungunu) will support assistant coach Brad Mooar and Joe Schmidt.

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

"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.”

Foster says it makes sense to call in Schmidt who will be joining the All Blacks after the Steinlager series.

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