Super Rugby 2020: Blues assistant coach Tom Coventry keeping squad ready to recapture momentum

While no date has been set for Super Rugby's return, Blues forwards coach Tom Coventry insists his players will be ready to go, if or when it does.

Coventry has kept in close contact with the squad during their time in lockdown, ensuring both mental and physical health is catered for in their respective 'bubbles'.

"We've got them on a mini group-chat and keep in touch with them a couple of times a week," Coventry told Newshub. "And we have a club meeting on Wednesday, which we all join into on Zoom.

"Our trainers have put out some really good programmes for the boys to keep themselves active.

"We just make sure they're supported though it, make sure they understand what they're doing and see how things are going from afar. 

"It's not ideal, but it seems to be working pretty well at the moment."

The Auckland-based franchise was in the midst of its best campaign in years, when the season was suspended, due to coronavirus concerns.

Placed second in the NZ conference, just a solitary point behind the Crusaders, the Blues realise the importance of re-establishing that momentum early, should the season resume in coming months.

While plenty of general fitness options exist for players within their own confines, prepping for the physicality of 80 minutes of elite rugby is an altogether different story.

"It's that conditioning for contact that is very difficult to replicate… considering we're not allowed to use a partner or a small group to do that kind of work, that's going to be the hardest thing to recapture."

For those reasons, Coventry believes his side will need at least a month before they're ready to re-enter the rigours of matchplay.

"I think it will take us about 3-4 weeks and that's probably a minimum," Coventry noted.

"We spent 6-8 weeks over Christmas, with a wee break, getting ourselves contact ready, so we'll probably have to go through a mini pre-season again to get ourselves ready to play rugby fully."

As it currently stands, those concerns are well down Coventry's list of priorities, but he remains positive about the prospect of the season's eventual return.

"I think we're all optimistic. All we can do is make sure we're as prepared as we can be physically, when they push the button to go.

"But we need the planet to heal itself first… making sure we get this disease under control and we can get back to normal again."