Super Rugby coach turns supermarket security guard during coronavirus lockdown

Chiefs assistant coach Tabai Matson has found a way to help those working during the nationwide alert level four coronavirus lockdown.

The Super Rugby season is on hold so Matson, Sunwolves flanker Mitchell Jacobson and other members of the Hautapu Rugby Club have been helping out as security at Cambridge’s New World supermarket.

“Supermarkets are a war zone,” Matson told Radio Sport‘s D’Arcy Waldegrave.

“Over the plast four or five days, as people tried to hunker down, I think the supermarkets have been the focal point of a lot of attention.

“I’m really helping out for some of the guys on long, long shifts. I go in for a couple of hours so they can have a lunch break.”

Matson has had something of a head start in quarantining, with the Chiefs going into self-isolation after their game against the Hurricanes this month, as a retroactive action from their return from Australia.

He said it’s important for the team to remain in touch with one another despite being apart, with the immediate future of the competition up in the air.

“A lot of pro coaches, maybe 60 per cent of our day is looking at a computer screen, cutting up training and cutting up games and preparing for the opposition. With no competition and no training we’re not doing that.

“At the Chiefs, we really understand mental and physical wellbeing go hand in hand. I’ve got a group of six or seven players that I look after, we’re on a Whatsapp group and we’re going to have a Zoom lunch in the next few days.

“The great thing about modern times is you can get on things like Zoom and communicate with people across the neighbourhood and across the country. We’re making a really concerted effort to keep connected.

“It’s about making sure people know that they can get on the phone and talk to other people. I think that’s really important because this is clearly only the beginning.

“We’re all in this together. We all arrived on different trips, but we’re all now in the same boat.”