Dr Ashley Bloomfield compares COVID-19 approach to All Blacks Rugby World Cup campaign

He's been the trusted face of New Zealand's COVID-19 response and now Dr Ashley Bloomfield has revealed how his passion for rugby helped him tackle the global pandemic.

New Zealand's latest cult hero - a diehard Hurricanes fan - let the nation in on a trade secret, when he popped up on Sky Sports' The Breakdown on Tuesday.

The Director-General of Health and former Tawa rugby junior admitted to approaching the country's coronavirus strategy like the All Blacks would approach a Rugby World Cup.

"You've got to see who is the team you're playing against in that very first pool match and go in with a gameplan, but then you've also got to adapt if things are not going very well," Bloomfield said.

"In a sense, we've finished the first pool match and there are others to follow. 

"The next team we will be playing will be a different team, so we've got to adjust and be prepared to flex."

Rugby has been a part of Bloomfield's life since his youth, highlighted by his vice-captaincy of the Scots College First XV, where he played flanker.

But luckily for all New Zealanders - and his Facebook fan page - medical ambitions outweighed sporting aspirations and rugby took a back seat after high school. 

With the country edging closer to normality, Bloomfield seems set to raise his own version of the William Webb Ellis Cup.

But given the All Blacks' occasional World Cup hiccup, Ashley's eyes remain very much on the ball. 

"The prize at the end, you could argue, is being in the final in the best shape, when hopefully we've got good treatment or a vaccine here, but we've got to keep our focus, and keep physically and mentally fit right through the campaign, and adjust as time goes by."

Bloomfield confirmed to the Breakdown that he was backing the Hurricanes in the upcoming Super Rugby Aotearoa competition. 

Dr Ashley Bloomfield compares COVID-19 approach to All Blacks Rugby World Cup campaign