Wayne Smith is safely holed up at his Waihi Beach house, thankful Japanese club Kobe Steel acted swiftly in allowing the team's large New Zealand contingent to return home before borders closed and flight options ceased.
Others were not so fortunate.
Japan's Top League cancelled its remaining 42 matches on Wednesday (NZT) due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving many foreign players and coaches scrambling to leave the country.
Several players, including Springboks World Cup winners Duane Vermeulen, Jesse Kriel, Malcolm Marx and former South African coach Allister Coetzee, were among those stranded in Japan battling flight disruptions.
Pumas first five-eighth Santiago González Iglesias experienced a similar situation attempting to return to Argentina.
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Smith, the All Blacks coach turned director of rugby at Kobe, praised the club for being one of the first to allow its players, which includes Dan Carter, Brodie Retallick, Andy Ellis, Tom Franklin, Richard Buckman and Hayden Parker, to return to New Zealand with their families.
Most European-based New Zealand rugby players and coaches have instead been instructed to sit tight, keep fit and wait out the uncertainty surrounding the respective lockdowns.
"Other teams have had to stay," Smith said of clubs in Japan. "It's a big disruption for our foreign guys and there was a lot of anxiety around getting family back home to New Zealand so there's a huge amount of gratitude from the players. Being able to come back and make sure everyone is safe has taken a lot of that anxiety away."
Kobe has 57 players and their coaching team extends to New Zealand's Dave Dillon, as head coach, Steve Cumberland (forwards), Nick Holton (defence) and Andre Bell (backs). Former Springboks lock Andries Bekker assists the forwards while young Japanese coach Shinya Morita is being mentored.
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Other Kiwi players and coaches, such as Steve Hansen and Kieran Read, managed to make it home from Japan in time.
"Our club took a family-first approach. As soon as the season was postponed in late February the club suspended training so people could travel and we allowed our foreign and Japanese players to go home," Smith said.
"We thought it would be a two-week break but of course that didn't happen.
"I'm picking that when we do eventually get back into playing the boys will be thankful for what the club has done for them and I think that'll show on the field.
"I guess some others left it too late to get home."
While European rugby is not expected to resume until at least June, Smith plans to return for the Japan Cup which is usually contested by the league's top four teams.
"The season is going to start again in late May and it's going to be a reduced competition. Top League is gone, but there is going to be a Japan Cup of which we are holders. Our strategy now is to work with the players and coaches and find a solution so we can be at our best for that competition. That's not going to be easy, it's going to take a lot of smart planning.
"All we're worrying about is what the structure is going to be, how many games there are and how we prepare for that.
"Ever since the first postponement we've taken an attitude about how we get an edge for whenever we go back. Despite the fact we're separated there are still ways you can train and create edge and communicate with each other. We'll try and do that as well as we can."
Under the guidance of Smith, Dillon and their company's "kantoku" Gori Fukumoto, Kobe won the past two Japanese titles. Along with Robbie Deans' Panasonic, Kobe were undefeated after six completed matches this season.
"We were on fire. To finish was disappointing but of course it had to happen. You put all the work in and it gets taken away so it's pretty tough."
Japanese teams are permitted to use two capped foreign players on the field at one time - three in the squad. Three non-capped foreigners are also allowed.
These high-profile Kiwi recruits continue to be influential in Kobe's success.
"Brodie is looking fitter and leaner than I've seen him for ages and he's happy, his family is happy over there. Daniel Carter has been incredible for the fact he's been away in France and he's come to Japan and set the competition alight. That says a lot about him and his desire to show people he can still play at a high level. His leadership within the team has been critical for us.
"Andy Ellis is one of our captains with local player, Shohei Maekawa. Andy and wife Emma are leaders of our team's social cohesion.
"Our wives and partners are a great group who do a lot of activities together, led by Emma and Mandy Dillon. Andy is hugely driven to ensure all our players, regardless of race and ability, are integrated into all parts of our programme.
"He and the other foreign players are great at creating task cohesion within the squad. They are outstanding peer coaches and have been a real key to our success. You learn best by teaching, so they are also making themselves better by helping others."