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Manumā keeping busy during Auckland self-isolation

Invest Samoa Manumā are trying to make the best of their self-isolation period in Auckland before players and management can return home to Samoa.

The team arrived in New Zealand on Monday from their first game in Perth on Saturday, meaning under new COVID-19 travel restrictions they must remain in self-isolation for two weeks.

Radio New Zealand’s Vinnie Wylie spoke to Pacific Rugby Players Chief Executive Officer Aayden Clarke, who said Manumā are still able to interact with one another over that period.

"They're sort of isolated out by themselves doing a bit of training, doing some activities, just trying to keep busy as everything unfolds,” Clarke told Wylie.

"We're just trying to make sure that they're occupied but over and above that also making sure their friends and family rest assured that the players are being looked after, that they're having good communication and that they'll be home as soon as they can."

The Pacific Rugby Players union helped negotiate contracts for the Manumā players, which Wylie reports had been expected to provide three months worth of income.

Global Rapid Rugby was suspended on Sunday after one round of competition, potentially leaving players and management in the lurch financially.

"Contractually we've been working through with both [the Samoa and Fiji Rugby] unions and Rapid Rugby about resolving those [issues]," Clarke told Wylie.

"Really unfortunate that the competition's going to be falling short but we're making sure we come to a reasonable ground in terms of players who are non-professionals being able to return to work and in the meantime still being paid out parts of their contract."

Professional rugby around the world has been disrupted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with top leagues in Europe, the U.S.A., and the Southern Hemisphere all being suspended along with Global Rapid Rugby.

"We're just reassuring players that we're here providing support all the time and just giving them information as best we can," Clarke said.

“It's no time to panic - I think everybody realises the issues are greater than sport and we're all taking measures here to try and contain what we're dealing with and just keeping occupied.

“Guys want to play rugby, they want to be out there earning a living but it is what it is at the moment and we're just trying to make sure everybody makes sensible decisions."

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