Coventry extends time at the Blues

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While Covid-19 red traffic light restrictions may have forced teams to start the season unable to play in front of crowds, Coventry said that hadn't dimmed the excitement. The Super Rugby trans Tasman champions are counting down to their opening game against Moana Pasifika at Mt Smart Stadium on February 18.


The side was almost ready to play, there was excitement in the group, and they are looking forward to their first pre-season game next week against the Hurricanes.


"We want to test where we're at and see where we need to go with our training," he said.


Coventry said it had been a good three or four years for him with the Blues, and the team was in a good space and making progress. He enjoyed working with both the team and the coaching group.


The Covid-19 situation was a constant presence and challenging, he said. But they all had their heads around it and understood what 2022 looked like.


"There's some good planning going around behind. We've got some experience knowing how to train away from the group. And also to be responsible for our social distancing.

"I think we're experienced campaigners when it comes to it, and we're all hoping for the best," he said.


Because the Omicron variant was a lot more infectious, it required more strategies for the group to use when at home and out in public and going into restaurants and other places where there were risks.


"We're going to make sure we're as tight as we can be," he said.


The Blues coaching staff had been pro-active in their off-season when the Auckland and North Harbour sides could not play in the Bunnings Cup last year due to the Auckland lockdown.


"We did a little bit of work during the lockdown. The Auckland-based players were able to train here at Alexandra Park. They were in small groups for most of the time. They were in the gym, so guys were working on strength gains.


"They would have loved to be playing but they've been training behind the scenes and working on aspects that they can control. Some of the guys got to really work on their bodies which sometimes you don't get to do when you're in the season, and make themselves bigger," he said.


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