In unsettling times the Blues have moved to secure some semblance of certainty by locking in forwards coach Tom Coventry for a further two years.
Coventry has led the Blues forwards since 2019 and his re-signing confirms the final piece of the coaching team that this year features the additions of Joe Schmidt and Auckland assistant Craig McGrath following Tana Umaga's exit as defence mentor.
As the Blues progress towards an uncertain Super Rugby season now destined to be played behind closed doors and disrupted by the latest Covid outbreak, Coventry's presence will provide a sense of continuity.
The respected forwards coach, who alongside Dave Rennie and Wayne Smith guided the Chiefs to successive Super Rugby titles in 2012-13, is keen to help the Blues kick on after claiming last year's transtasman title.
"It was an easy decision," Coventry, the former Waikato loose forward, said. "It's been a really good three, four years here for me. I feel the club is in a good space, moving forward, and I enjoy the coaching staff and team. I'm happy being in Auckland with my family at the moment too."
Despite the latest setback of the country moving to red light restrictions, the Blues continue to train with their first pre-season game against the Hurricanes at the Onewa Domain next week firmly in mind.
"It's challenging but we've been through this a couple of times now and we've got our heads around what it could possibly look like," Coventry said. "There's some good planning going on. We've got some experience knowing how to train away from the group and be responsible with our social distancing."
Being based in Auckland leaves the Blues certain to be hit by the Omicron variant spread at some stage this season. For now, though, they remain focused on extracting the most from their preseason that's been cut from the usual eight to three-and-a-half weeks due to last year's Covid complications.
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"We're all hoping for the best but also preparing for the worst. There's a lot of discussion going on behind the scenes and there's a few initiatives we'll have in the next couple of days to tie things down more.
"Covid last year was different – this one is a lot more infectious so we need to be aware of some of the strategies we can use and trying to mitigate risk when going into restaurants and mixing with the public.
"We're going to conform and make sure we're as tight as we can be but there's challenges ahead for sure. We can get down on it but that's not going to help us so we'll rattle on into the season in a positive mindset. We're almost ready to play now because we want to test where we are at."