Jerome Kaino Confirms He Is Leaving New Zealand
End of an era.
All Blacks and Blues back-row forward Jerome Kaino has announced that he will leave New Zealand at the end of the current Super Rugby season.
The veteran All Black will play his club rugby in France next, with Toulouse favourite to land his signature, although Toulon have also expressed interest in signing him.
A double Rugby World Cup winner, Kaino has represented the All Blacks on 81 occasions. He is also the third most capped Blues player in history with 127 games to date, behind Keven Mealamu (164) and Tony Woodcock (137).
New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew said:
“On behalf of New Zealand Rugby, I’d like to acknowledge everything that Jerome has done for the game in New Zealand. He’s had a massive impact in the Auckland, Blues and All Blacks jerseys.
All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen added:
“Jerome will leave New Zealand rugby with our best wishes. He’s had a long and distinguished career in the All Blacks jersey and brought a physicality and skill level to his game which made him the best in the world in his position.
“He can be rightly proud of everything he has achieved in the All Blacks, which included helping win two Rugby World Cups.
“I’d like to thank him for his service and also want to acknowledge his wife Di and the family for their outstanding support for him and the team over many years.
“It has certainly been appreciated and we wish them all the very best wishes for the next chapter of their lives.”
Blues coach Tana Umaga say they salute Kaino for what he has done for the club.
“We certainly salute and honour Jerome for his incredible contribution to this club both on and off the field,” said coach Tana Umaga.
“We are just at the start of a very important Super Rugby campaign and Jerome has a big part to play in that. Our players will want to send him off in the best possible way by our work on the field and building performances.”
After much speculation I want to confirm that I will be leaving NZ Rugby at the end of the 2018 Blues campaign. I want to thank NZRU, Auckland rugby, the Blues and the All Blacks for the opportunities and constant development I have been given. My coaches, managers, trainers, physios, Docs, staff, sponsors, media for the years of support and guidance. Finally and most importantly to my FAMILY and the FANS the people who have made my career here in NZ such a special experience, you have been amazing, I will forever be grateful. But for now it’s back to work with my @bluesrugbyteam brothers 💙 #onelastridewithmybrothers Faafetai Lava. @kaino_tribe