LIFE is still very strange for Munster legend Ronan O’Gara.
The Top 14 will go ahead despite 25 players and staff being test positive for COVID last week but the Corkman knows that one positive test at La Rochelle, where he is head coach could change everything.
It has meant the Corkman has not seen his parents or extended family since the outbreak of the pandemic and he says he has felt every possible emotion since March.
“Yeah, everything comes into your mind to be honest. I’ve experienced every possible emotion in terms of how this could be played out - getting my parents over, not allowed; going back to see them, not allowed.
“The information we’ve received from our medical experts here is that you don’t know when or where the virus could hit so you have to be extremely disciplined in your behaviour in terms of your mask and cleaning your hands at every possible opportunity.
“So in that regard you’re very aware of your responsibilities and also of informing your players of their responsibilities but other than that I try and control what I can control and what we can control in our environment but people when they leave the building, you have absolutely no idea what they’re doing and who they’re engaging with so in that case, one person can bring the whole thing down.”
He says he has to continue to prepare his side for Top 14 action despite Stade’s recent spate of positive tests.
“The message we’ve received is it’s going on, so Stade Francais, they’ve had 30 cases but that’s not going to stop the competition. It’s not going to stop the Top 14 so whoever they have to put out on a certain weekend, if they have a lot of cases it’s up to the clubs to manage.
“So the show is going on it seems, in terms of there won’t be any great pauses like there has been in the past, I don’t think.
“There might be a review but the information we’ve received is that if your guys have tested positive then they’ve got to go to self-isolation for nine days and then review it.
“I think that’s why it’s important with the academy and the professional team and players you have, you’re going to have to put out 23 players every week.
“We don’t know if you get the virus how sick you actually get as sports people so it’s kind of make it up as we go along, which is not ideal.
“You’ve a certain idea of a training plan in your head and a certain idea of who’s going to be available for this session and then all of a sudden it can change.”