A week or two in pro rugby can be a long time.
In July, Magpies winger Mason Emerson left the Covid-free shores of New Zealand for France.
The speedster had landed a contract in the third-tier Nationale league, playing for Valence Romans.
Emerson's appearance for his new side was delayed after a teammate caught Covid-19.
Back in New Zealand, Delta broke out and it was Emerson's Magpies mates who were suddenly sidelined.
This weekend, he'll finally make his Valence Romans debut, a week before the Magpies take on Bay of Plenty in a Ranfurly Shield defence next Sunday.
Rugby isn't the only thing that Emerson is experiencing, ahead of his Kiwi mates.
France has a rule that means you can't dine or eat in a cafe or restaurant, or go to other public places, unless you can prove you've had two Covid-19 jabs.
He and his partner, who share an apartment in Romans-sur-Isère, five minutes from the rugby club's training facility, have just had their second shots, granting them a "pass sanitaire".
"It's a barcode on your phone, and that means you've got access to most of Europe," Emerson explained.
"Covid is still running its course here, it's just that so many people are vaccinated, that sort of the perspective of it has changed."
Seeing New Zealand go back into lockdown was tough, but he thinks people's perceptions around the vaccine are changing.
"For everything to get going and to move forward it's probably something people are gonna have to do," he said.
"The more people who get it, the faster we can return to some sort of level of normality, but at the end of the day it is a choice; some people won't and some people will."
While he is really enjoying his time in France, he does miss Hawke's Bay.
"The more I've travelled, the more I realise how good home actually is."
Aside from family, he laughed that he is missing Bay Espresso's eggs benedict dish most of all.
Emerson watched from the stands during Valence Romans side's 20-13 win away at Nice in the opening round of the third tier Nationale league last Saturday.
"It was quite an important game because Nice, they are regarded as sort of one of the top other contenders to go back up to [second tier] Pro D2."
Emerson, who played his last game for Hawke's Bay in their June Ranfurly Shield defence against North Otago, said he is still in touch with his former teammates and would be watching every game.
"They've got a hell of a good team and I'm sure when they get back into it they can have a season as good as last year."
The Lindisfarne College old boy said he wishes he could be part of what he expects will be a shot at the NPC Premiership title, but was at the time of his life and rugby career where he couldn't say no to the opportunity at Valence Romans.