New Zealand's move to alert level 3 next week is being welcomed by Super Rugby sides, who sense a return to action is growing closer.
Teams still won't be able to train under level 3 conditions, but the planning and preparation for getting players ready to get back on the field begins now.
For contact codes in particular, strict rules remain in place under level 3.
Bursting your bubble is an absolute no-go. But if you have teammates inside your bubble, then contact training is allowed.
"We don't want to become more of a liability," Blues boss Andrew Hore told Newshub.
"We're supporting the government in their recommendations… we understand our responsibilities."
Teams will have to bide their time before contact training makes a return for the whole squad.
"We're doing further work on that at the moment," said PM Jacinda Ardern on a return to training. "But that is particularly applicable to alert level 2."
But Super Rugby franchises have already set the wheels in motion for what training could look like when the country's alert level drops further.
"We've had a big focus on that," Hore added. "Both around the way we're preparing for moves and scenarios in games, right through to their physical conditioning."
Franchises have told Newshub that with a better idea of when the alert may continue to drop, they can now start working backwards towards an eventual return to play.
"We've approached it like a pre season… we want to take this time and be really cautious with the view that we come back a little bit later, but at least we come back."
While a return to normality is still some way off, a return to action for our rugby teams is now a step closer.
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