Jerome Kaino

Jerome Kaino
Full name Jerome Kaino
Date of birth (1983-04-06) 6 April 1983
Place of birth Faga'alu, American Samoa[1]
Height 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in)
Weight 113 kg (249 lb)
School Papakura High School
St Kentigern College[2]
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Blindside Flanker
New Zealand No. 1050
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team
Auckland University
correct as of 1 September 2006.
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2012–2014 Toyota Verblitz 18 (10)
correct as of 8 September 2015.
Provincial/State sides
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2004–11, 2014– Auckland 54 (45)
correct as of 16 October 2016.
Super Rugby
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2004–12, 2014– Blues 117 (70)
correct as of 20 July 2016.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2004, 2006-2011, 2014- New Zealand 77 (60)
correct as of 26 November 2016.

Jerome Kaino (born 6 April 1983) is an American Samoan-born New Zealand professional rugby union player. He plays for the Blues in Super Rugby and All Blacks internationally. In 2004, he was named IRB International Under-21 player of the year. In 2011, he was named the New Zealand Rugby player of the year, finishing ahead of Richie McCaw and Ma'a Nonu in the voting. He is a key member of 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cup winning teams, becoming one of only twenty dual Rugby World Cup winners. Kaino usually plays at blindside flanker, also playing at number 8 for the Blues and has occasionally played lock.

Kaino is the second U.S. national of Samoan descent to play for the All Blacks. The first was Frank Solomon in 1931.

Early life

Kaino was born on 6 April 1983 at Lyndon B. Johnson Tropical Medical Center in Faga'alu, located in the U.S. territory of American Samoa as the third of six children. In 1987 at the age of 4, he and his family relocated from their home village of Leone, Tutuila, to Papakura, Auckland. After settling in Papakura, he played junior rugby league for the Papakura Sea Eagles before switching to rugby union in secondary school at Papakura High School and Saint Kentigern College where he was offered a rugby scholarship.[1] He attended both schools with former All Black John Afoa.

If Kaino had not come to New Zealand following the lead of his uncle, his relatives assumed that he would have enlisted in the United States Army.

Auckland and Blues career

Kaino made his Auckland debut in 2004 and his Blues debut in 2006. In 2012 it was announced that Kaino would be leaving the Blues for Japanese club Toyota Verblitz on a two-year deal.[3]

On 4 October 2013, Kaino announced he had re-signed with New Zealand Rugby Union, North Harbour and Auckland Blues on a two-year contract.[4] He was expected to return to New Zealand in February[5] in time for the beginning of the 2014 Super Rugby season.

International career - All Blacks

Kaino played his first two tests against Ireland in 2006.[6] Kaino had previously played a full match for New Zealand against the Barabrians in 2004, but was not exposed to test rugby until 2006.

In 2008 Kaino, who earned many comparisons with Jerry Collins for his uncompromising physical style, would become a key member of the All Blacks setup. Kaino's return from injury saw him become the national side's first-choice blindside flanker..[7]

In 2011 Kaino played an important role in the All Blacks winning the Rugby World Cup. He was named in the starting XV for every game. He played every minute of every game except for the final few seconds in the semi-final against Australia.[8] He scored four tries in the World Cup.

Jerome Kaino is an versatile loose forward being either to play blindside or number eight. Kaino returned to New Zealand in 2014 after a 3-season stint with Toyota Verblitz in Japan and temporarily replaced incumbent number eight Kieran Read, who was being forced to sit out after suffering a relapse of concussion symptoms in New Zealand's team in the first two test of the 2014 Steinlager Series against England.[9] Kaino returned to blindside flanker following Read's recovery, pushing Liam Messam out of his starting place.

Kaino is considered one of the game's great blindside flankers and he played in all seven of last year's RWC 2015 matches as the All Blacks went back-to-back. He carried a big workload throughout the year; he also brought up his Investec Super Rugby century with the Blues in 2015 and is their most experienced squad member in 2016.[7]

Kaino struggled with injury throughout 2016, but still managed to play for New Zealand in most All Blacks' fixtures. This is most notably including the 40-29 defeat to Ireland in Chicago where he was featured as lock, due to injury previously received by Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock against Australia.

Career notes


  1. 1 2 Perrott, Alan (11 August 2011). "Jerome Kaino: The enforcer". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  2. Gray, Wynne (11 July 2005). "Cartoons on hold for Afoa". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  3. Shannon, Kris (24 March 2012). "Kaino gone – for now". New Zealand Herald.
  4. "Kaino returns to Blues". New Zealand Herald. 4 October 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  5. McKendry, Patrick (21 January 2014). "Kaino – I want to be a starting All Black again". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  6. "Kaino handed chance by All Blacks". BBC News. 13 June 2006.
  7. 1 2 "Jerome Kaino". Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  8. Rugby News Service (24 October 2011). "Top five players of RWC 2011" (Press release). International Rugby Board. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  9. "Jerome Kaino handed recall for All Blacks". Retrieved 5 June 2014.
Preceded by
New Zealand Ben Atiga
IRB International U21 Player of the Year
Succeeded by
Australia Tatafu Polota-Nau
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