Jerome Kaino (born 06 April, 1983, Tutuila, American Samoa) is a former rugby player for the ITM Cup Auckland NPC (National Provincial Competition), Super14 Auckland Blues and New Zealand ‘All Blacks’ rugby teams. He currently plays rugby in Japan.
Kaino’s family moved to Auckland in 1987. He played Junior Rugby League before switching codes to Rugby Union once he reached high school. Kaino attended St Kentigern high school in Auckland, which is where flying wing Joe Rokocoko also attended.
After playing at centre and fullback as a teenager, Kaino has developed into one of New Zealand’s most promising young loose forwards. Auckland NPC and Blues blindside flanker has the athleticism to dominate in open play and the size to cover locking duties.
Kaino missed selection in the 2006 Rebel Sport Super 14 squad due to a shoulder injury, but recovered in time to play the last four games of the season. Kaino finished the 2007 Rebel Sport Super 14 round-robin as the only New Zealand forward to play every minute.
Kaino had played the best rugby in his life when he was selected for the All Blacks Rugby World Cup 2011 squad. Kaino was named in the starting XV for every game. Apart from the last 30 seconds he was subbed off with cramp against Australia, Kaino had played every minute of New Zealand’s six cup games at the World Cup.
He scored his first try of the World Cup during New Zealand’s emphatic defeat of Tonga. During the final pool stage of the World Cup against Canada, and was named man-of-the-match.
Kaino has represented New Zealand in Rugby for: New Zealand Schools in 2001, New Zealand Under 19 in 2002, New Zealand Under 21 in 2003 and 2004, New Zealand Sevens in 2005, Junior All Blacks in 2005 and the All Blacks in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
In 2012, Kaino signed a two year deal to play rugby in Japan, during which he will be ineligible to play for the All Blacks.
Highlights and Awards:
- Player of the Tournament at the 2004 IRB Under 21 World Championship
- NZRU Age Grade Player of the Year 2004
- Nominated for IRB International Player of the Year at the Rugby World Cup 2011
- Scored his first world cup try at the 2011 Rugby World Cup in the opening match against Tonga. He then went on to score three more tries bringing his tally to four. Currently he has scored the most tries of any forward
- Winner of the Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Player of the Year Award 2011