Cape Town - All
Blacks coach Steve Hansen says his decision to omit flank Jerome Kaino
from his matchday squad for the Rugby Championship opener against
Australia in Sydney is in the interests of longevity and to prolong his career.
Kaino, who is a veteran of 81 Test matches, was a surprise omission
from Hansen's squad with Liam Squire being preferred in his place at
And Hansen insists that it is not the end of the road for Kaino and
that he still has a major role to play in the side but feels he needs to
be managed carefully ahead of a long and gruelling season.
"It's a long race, it's not a short race," Hansen told TVNZ.
"Clearly JK's not getting any younger. We've got to look after him for a long season too.
"At the back end of this year, in the last nine weeks, we go around
the world twice, play seven test matches and 10 time zone changes.
"You need most of your squad, or as many as you can get, still
feeling somewhat fresh, so we've got to manage them as well as we can."
Kick-off is at 12:00 SA time.