19 Aug 2017

Kaino heads home to deal with family matter

6:26 pm on 19 August 2017
Jerome Kaino

Jerome Kaino Photo: Photosport

New Zealand Rugby has confirmed All Black Jerome Kaino is on his way back to New Zealand to deal with a "personal matter".

34 year old Kaino, who had played in 81 tests, was not in the team to play Australia in Sydney this evening.

His return to New Zealand followed the publication of a story in The Daily Telegraph this morning which alleged the married All Black had a relationship with a former Australian model.

NZR said it could not comment on the Kaino allegations or further details about Aaron Smith's personal life which were published today as both were "personal matters".

But NZR said it felt for all of those affected.

The news about Kaino's extra-martial affair came just days after NZR re-opened its investigation into All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith's airport "toilet tryst" scandal.

That incident resulted in Smith being sent home from last year's tour of South Africa and subsequently suspended for one match.

An NZR statement on Thursday said an independent lawyer would investigate the matter further, after reports Smith may have misled his All Blacks bosses over the incident.

Today, chief executive Steve Tew said the NZR understood that the game and players were under public scrutiny and these latest stories in the media were concerning.

"As an employer, we will take some time to assess this. While NZR does not wish to comment on individual behaviour, it is clear that this is really hurting rugby, all the people concerned, our fans and supporters."

"We take these issues very seriously, and are also mindful that these issues affect people with families and loved ones," he said.

NZR was grappling with its cultural reputation, Mr Tew said, and the Respect and Responsibility Review which was currently under way was even more important.

The review would be presented to the NZR Board in August and would be made public sometime in September.

- RNZ/AAP

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