At 39 years old, Jerome Kaino has this physical status:
Jerome Kaino (born 6 April 1983) is a New Zealand rugby union player.
He currently plays flanker and number eight for Stade Toulousain in the Top 14.
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 20 players to have won multiple Rugby World Cups.
Kaino is considered by many to be one of the game's greats. Kaino is the second U.S. national of Samoan descent to play for the All Blacks.
The first was Frank Solomon in 1931.
Kaino was born on 6 April 1983 at Lyndon B. Johnson 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. 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. Prior to being signed for the Blues, Kaino came off the bench in Auckland's 13-17 loss to the British & Irish Lions on 5 July 2005.
In 2012 it was announced that Kaino would be leaving the Blues for Japanese club Toyota Verblitz on a two-year deal, following the conclusion of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
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. He was expected to return to New Zealand in February in time for the beginning of the 2014 Super Rugby season.
Kaino made successful return to the Blues in the 2014 season, being named as the team's captain for the 2015 Super Rugby season, taking over from fellow back-rower Luke Braid. Kaino played his 100th match for the Blues on 28 February 2015, but the Blues unfortunately lost 24-25 to the Cheetahs that day. Kaino's captaincy at the Blues did not last long, with hooker James Parsons taking over during the 2016 Super Rugby season.
On 8 September 2017, Kaino played for Auckland for the first time since 2010. Kaino started at number 8 as Auckland lost 38-49 to Taranaki.
Despite being without a Super Rugby contract for the 2005 Super 12 season, Kaino was called into the All Blacks on 2004's end-of-season tour. Kaino made his All Blacks debut on 4 December 2004 when he started at blindside flanker against the Barbarians in an uncapped fixture at Twickenham Stadium in London. Kaino played the full 80 minutes and scored a try on debut, with the All Blacks winning 47-19.
Kaino played his first two tests against Ireland in 2006. He did not play for New Zealand again until 2008, missing the 2007 Rugby World Cup due to injury.
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.
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. He scored four tries in the World Cup.
Kaino returned to the All Blacks from his stint in Japan and during the 2014 three-test series against England, temporarily replaced incumbent number eight Kieran Read, who was being forced to sit out after suffering a relapse of concussion symptoms. Kaino started at number 8 for the first two tests of the series, the second of which on 14 July 2014, was his 50th test for the All Blacks. Kaino celebrated his milestone with a narrow 28-27 victory for the All Blacks. Kaino returned to blindside flanker in the third test if the series following Read's recovery, pushing Liam Messam out of his starting place. Kaino finished off his 2014 season in which he made eight appearances for the All Blacks by scoring his only try of the year, allowing the All Blacks to comfortably beat Wales 34-16 on 22 November 2014.
Kaino was selected for the 2015 Rugby World Cup as part of New Zealand's 31-man All Blacks squad. Kaino achieved many career milestones in the competition, playing in all seven All Black tests in the competition. His most notable performances in the competition were in the quarter-final on 17 October 2015 where the All Blacks beat France 62-13 and in the semi-final's 20-18 win against South Africa on 24 October 2015. He scored tries in both of those knockout rounds, but was also yellow-carded for being offside against South Africa in the 39th minute of the semi-final. Kaino, alongside teammates Sam Whitelock and Sonny Bill Williams played in their record 14th consecutive World Cup wins when New Zealand beat Australia 34-17 on 31 October 2015, to win their third Rugby World Cup. Kaino was replaced by Hurricanes forward Victor Vito with nine minutes left of the World Cup final.
Kaino struggled with injury throughout 2016, but still managed to play for New Zealand in 12 All Blacks tests. Kaino scored his final international try for New Zealand on 20 August 2016 as the All Blacks beat the Wallabies by 42-8. This season most notably included the 40-29 defeat to Ireland in Chicago where Kaino was featured out of position as lock, due to injury previously received by Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock against Australia. Kaino struggled to perform well in the unfamiliar role against Ireland and was replaced by test debutant Scott Barrett in the 45th minute.
Kaino recovered from a knee injury to be selected as a member of the All Blacks' 33-man squad for the 2017 Pasifika Challenge and three-test series against the touring British & Irish Lions team. Becoming one of few players to play against the Lions in multiple tours, Kaino took part in the first test of the 2017 series on 24 June 2017 by starting at blindside flanker for his home crowd at Eden Park. Kaino was subbed off in the 45th minute, being replaced by Ardie Savea as the All Blacks went on to win 30-15. Kaino was unfortunately subbed off less than 30 minutes into the second test of the Lions series due to the red-carding of Blues teammate Sonny Bill Williams. Kaino was replaced by debutant Ngani Laumape so that the All Blacks were not a back short at set-piece. Kaino was also yellow-carded in the third test's 49th minute for a swinging forearm on Lions lock Alun Wyn Jones, who had to be replaced by Courtney Lawes as he copped a blow from Kaino's arm. The series was disappointing for Kaino and for the All Blacks who allowed the Lions to break multiple records as the series was drawn 1-1.
Following the drawn Lions series, Kaino was selected for the 2017 Rugby Championship but did not play in the competition due to personal reasons, making his first ITM Cup appearance for Auckland in 7 years. Kaino's absence from the Rugby Championship saw him lose his starting spot to Liam Squire and Vaea Fifita who spent the 2017 putting forward cases to make the number 6 jersey theirs. Kaino started at number 8 in the All Blacks' 31-22 win over the Barbarians on the end-of-year tour but was subbed off with a posterior cruciate ligament injury in the 45th minute and replaced by Sam Cane.
Kaino announced his signing to Toulouse in 2018, effectively retiring from international rugby.