Super Rugby Aotearoa 2021: Blues braced for whatever COVID-19 lockdowns throw at them

The Blues are doing their best not to let Auckland's recent COVID-19 lockdown hamper their performance on the field.

The side had to relocate to Cambridge to avoid Alert Level 3 restrictions, but despite returning home, they're all too aware it could happen again and they're prepared if it does.

They've benefited from a well timed Super Rugby Aotearoa bye week, but they're not about to let their circumstances dictate their performance.

"Without lockdown, our job is to learn our plays and be the best rugby players we can be," says captain Patrick Tuipulotu. "That doesn't stop if we're in lockdown - there's a lot of stuff we can do by ourselves."

They're more than familiar with that over the past year and while team trainings are back on the agenda to prepare for the Highlanders on Sunday, the side are ready to move again, if Auckland returns to Level 3 at any time.

But for Tuipulotu, who's just become a dad for the first time, that's still easier said than done.

"For a lot of us with families, there's a lot of disruption in that way - missing home and partners needing us to be at home as well," he says. "If i want to play well and I need to play well, I need to make sure everything's okay at home."

That sense of sacrifice is well reflected within this current Blues set-up.

Tuipultou's situation is vastly different to someone like Caleb Clarke, but if the Blues are forced to move again, Clarke is keeping everything in perspective.

"Everyone has to face different problems in life and there are harder problems in the world than us not being able to play rugby," he says.

And Clarke is confident no matter what happens on the field, their direction on it, won't begin to suffer.

"I think that culture that's here that's been built over these few years has really come to fruition, so we don't get thrown off by these things."

The Blues are running head first into whatever obstacles may be thrown their way.

Join us at 3:30pm Sunday for live updates of the Blues v Highlanders Super Rugby Aotearoa clash