All Blacks: Scrum guru Greg Feek tests positive for Covid-19

Dylan Coetzee

All Blacks scrum specialist Greg Feek has become the latest member of the squad to test positive for Covid-19.

Feek joins head coach Ian Foster, assistant coach John Plumtree and several players who have been struck down with the virus, disrupting the build-up to their first Test against Ireland on Saturday.

Calling on reinforcements

Veteran scrum expert Mike Cron will join the makeshift coaching staff, including former Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt taking charge of the All Blacks against his old side.

Meanwhile, Foster says the first few days with the virus were tricky, but he has since improved and is feeling better.

“A couple of dusty days at the start. I’ve settled into things pretty well and I’m feeling really good, and looking forward to joining the team on Saturday morning,” he told Stuff.

“The first two nights were cold sweats and sleepless nights… that’s pretty normal for an All Blacks head coach ahead of the first test of the year.

“I’ve got through it pretty lightly, and maybe being a bit distracted with something else on my mind has helped,. Overall the people in the team and management have done a superb job and made sure I had enough time to rest in between things.”

The All Blacks camp has been looking to be as adaptable as possible in dealing with the tricky situation. However, Foster says whilst it is difficult preparing a Test side from home that, he has faith in those on the ground.

“People are getting used to communicating and being communicated to by zoom,” he noted. “It’s something we’d talked about, though I didn’t really want it to be me who got sniped first. But it’s the way it’s worked out.

“We’ve had a lot of faith and trust in the coaches on the ground who have been really well led by Brad and Feeky, and the coaches on zoom have done a great job. It hasn’t been easy preparing a test team from home, and I’ve probably got to apologise to my wife for my behaviour the last four days.

“Between that and the rolling-the-sleeves-up attitude of our leaders, we’ve just done it collectively. Hey, it’s not the way we planned, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be equally as effective.”

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