Brumbies coach Dan McKellar has urged Rugby Australia to refrain from implementing a bubble on players and coaches this season, as the sport prepares for its most disruptive year since the start of the COVID pandemic.
Super Rugby clubs have not been spared by the Omicron surge across Australia, although the Brumbies have managed to escape largely unscathed so far through preseason with just a handful of positive cases among the playing group.
All infected players are isolating, and recovering well from the virus.
The NRL has introduced a number of COVID protocols in a bid to protect the league from the virus, which included daily rapid antigen testing for players and staff, and a cap on home visitors.
Less than six weeks out from round one Rugby Australia is yet to follow suit with its own restrictive COVID measures, and McKellar hoped that responsibility would remain with the clubs.
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"We've experienced a number of lockdowns and trying to cage up young men and women and expect them to sit in their house and go to work - we talk about mental health well I don't think that's healthy at all so we've got to let them live their lives," McKellar said.
"We've got to approach it with common sense and do the right thing. If you do present with symptoms when you wake up from one day to the next, stay at home, let our doctor know.
"We're trying to learn to live with it. "How quickly do we get to the next level? At some point in time you'd envisage that we've just got to crack on with life and take responsibility for your own health and your own actions.
"The tricky part is that this virus tends to impact different people in different ways. Some people won't have any symptoms, some people will be bedridden and in ICU for a number of days.
"It's difficult, I feel for all involved. Thankfully I don't need to make those decisions I just go off the direction that's provided to us and we do the right thing in making sure that as an organisation, we're keeping our players, our families and our communities healthy."
Dining indoors at restaurants and bars is not permitted for Super Rugby players, in line with a measure covering most professional sportspeople in Australia.
Otherwise, Brumbies players and staff are strictly following government health orders ahead of their February 19 season opener against the Western Force.
The Brumbies are set to play a preseason match against the COVID-hit NSW Waratahs on January 29 in Bowral, and will conduct an internal squad match a week later. Aside from the COVID cases within the squad, McKellar said his side had returned almost fully healthy since resuming preseason training last week.
"There's no players that are long term injuries, they'll all be back all going well fit and available for round one."