Wellington - Blues captain Jerome Kaino will miss the Super rugby season opener against the Highlanders after receiving a one-week ban for punching, New Zealand Rugby said on Tuesday.
The double World Cup-winning All Blacks flank was sent off during a pre-season match last week for striking Chiefs prop Pauliasi Manu.
The suspension was limited to one week by judicial officer Roger Drummond who noted that Kaino had a clean record for more than 10 years "and that he was remorseful and had apologised to Manu".
The Blues, the worst performing New Zealand franchise last year, play the defending champion Highlanders to open the 2016 season in Auckland on Friday.
Kaino will be available for the Blues second match against the Crusaders in Christchurch the following week.