Sydney - Jerome Kaino is set to announce his departure from New Zealand rugby on Friday and that he'll be playing rugby in Japan when his current
contract with the NZRU runs out later this year.
The All Blacks and Blues loose forward - who is out of
rugby for six months following shoulder operation - is to hold a press
conference at the offices of Esportif, the management agency that
represents him. Kaino's Super Rugby season was ended three weeks ago
when he picked up a shoulder injury against the Chiefs.
It is expected that at this conference Kaino will confirm he is off to Japan, with the Toyota club the likely destination.
Kaino's agent, Bruce Sharrock told Fairfax Media last
weekend that an announcement was imminent, but there had been a hold up
because of Kaino's operation.
This was because clubs were wanting to find out if there
would be any lasting damage from his injury that could jeopardise his
Kaino saw a medical specialist earlier this week to give
him the results of how successful the operation was and it appears that
he has been told the news that there won't be any lasting damage from
The 28-year-old Kaino, who has played 48 Tests for the
All Blacks, further established himself as one of the world's premier
loose forwards during last year's World Cup and can consider himself
desperately unlucky to miss out to France's Thierry Dusautoir as the
2011 IRB World Player of the Year.
With Kaino out of the reckoning, it opens the way for
Liam Messam or Adam Thomson to establish themselves as the All Blacks'
leading blindside flank.