Former All Blacks captain Kieran Read has revealed he contracted Covid-19 while playing in Japan.
Read is completing his two-week quarantine in Auckland after concluding his decorated career with a six-month stint in Japan where he played for the Toyota Verblitz club that lost their semifinal of the Top League competition.
In an interview with Newstalk ZB, asked about the lay of the land in Japan and whether he thought the Olympic Games should go ahead as planned, the 35-year-old revealed he experienced a minor case of Covid-19.
"My club went through Covid – I had it," Read said. "We had a few weeks of isolation.
"It wasn't too bad there was a day or so of feeling pretty bad and upset then I came good. Half our team got it and it went round quite a few of the clubs so they postponed the season.
"It was quite strange, you would expect us all to have the same strain but we didn't know what it was. Some guys lost taste and smell; some had fevers, some were quite mild, some guys it lasted for a week or so, it depended on the person. I was fine after a couple of days."
Read says, in his experience, the Japanese public have been compliant with Covid-19 restrictions and he believes they want the Olympics to go ahead.
"The Japanese people are very compliant. I wore a mask for six months, everywhere I went, everyone does that.
"The general feeling is they want the Olympics to go ahead because there's so much invested in it but they understand it's bigger than what it is. The cases in Japan are still going up even now. Every time they have a lessening of the restrictions it seems to pop back up again so it's going to be dealt with up there for a long time I think."
Read, the third most capped player in All Blacks history, called time on his stellar career at the end of Toyota Verblitz's season, where they lost 48-21 to the Wild Knights in the Top League semifinal.
In a social media post, Read said: "I'm looking forward to returning to New Zealand and spending time with my family."
The No 8 was awarded the title of World Rugby's player of the year in 2013, played 128 tests (52 as captain) and won two Rugby World Cup medals with the All Blacks and four Super Rugby titles with the Crusaders.