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Jerome Kaino re-signs with New Zealand Rugby
ESPN Staff
March 31, 2015
Jerome Kaino will remain in New Zealand Rugby through 2018 © Getty Images

Blues and All Blacks back-rower Jerome Kaino has bucked the trend set by many of his Test team-mates and opted to re-sign with New Zealand Rugby through to the end of 2018.

Kaino's future had been the subject of debate for some time with the veteran forward weighing up offers from Japanese and European rugby, with the chance to continue his career at home and face the British & Irish Lions in 2017.

And so it proved that the comforts of home proved too good to resist with Kaino revealing the happiness of his young family was the key factor in his decision to remain in New Zealand.

"Having been overseas and experienced that, home does have a lot of positives," Kaino said. "On the rugby front, I remain very committed to the Blues. I know our fans are doing it tough but I believe a lot of good things have been put in place here and we will see the benefits in the next year or two.

"I am also driven to be part of the All Blacks again - there's no greater honour than to wear the black jersey. The over-riding reason though is my family. They enjoy being home close to their friends and family and with them happy, then I am happy to focus on being the best rugby player that I can be."

Kaino has endured a tough start to the Super Rugby season as skipper of the Blues, the Auckland-based side losing six straight to sit at the bottom of the table after seven rounds. The 31-year-old back-rower was also sin-binned late in the weekend's loss to NSW Waratahs. Under-fire Blues coach was quick to praise Kaino's leadership having rubbished referee Jaco Peyper's decision following Saturday night's defeat.

"Jerome brings everything you want in a captain - leadership on the field, leadership off the field. He is also an 'x factor' player. As a team we want to be resilient and relentless and Jerome is that sort of player," Kirwan said.

"To know that he will be at the Blues for three more years is invaluable to this organisation, because they are a young group who will benefit greatly from his leadership on and off the field."

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