Jerome Kaino ready to take opportunity after New Zealand recall

Jerome Kaino plans to use rugby as 'an escape'

Jerome Kaino says he is ready to take his opportunity and focus on playing for New Zealand after earning a recall to the squad for the autumn internationals.

Kaino was sent home before a Rugby Championship game against Australia in August to address issues surrounding his family life, and last put on a Test jersey in the British and Irish Lions series, which concluded in a series draw in July.

The 34-year-old is set to add to his 81 caps for New Zealand this autumn and revealed he aims to use rugby as “an escape”, as the All Blacks prepare to warm up for the series with the traditional game against the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday.

“It has been tough, but being able to deal with that (personal issues) away from footie and away from the team, the coaches, the All Blacks and the Rugby Union have been great,” he said.

“It’s going to take a lot of time, but I’m able to use rugby as an escape to hopefully focus on something else.

“It’s an ongoing process.”

Kaino has played just three provincial games for Auckland and the All Blacks ‘game of three halves’ since the Lions series and is hoping he will play a part in this weekend’s clash.

“For me, it’s focusing on footie”, he added.

“Hopefully I can take my opportunity that may hopefully come this weekend.”