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Kaino keen to be part of Ireland clash in Chicago

All Blacks veteran Jerome Kaino hopes to play a part in the side’s game against Ireland in Chicago this November.

kainoThe NZRU, IRFU and USA Rugby confirmed this week that the world champions will face Ireland at Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears, on November 5 this year as part of “The Rugby Weekend”, which sees the USA take on the New Zealand Maori on Friday, November 4.

Kaino was on tour with the New Zealand squad but didn’t play when they faced the USA at the same venue in 2014 and he believes the game with Ireland should be a great success.

“I didn’t play in 2014 but I was there and it was a great occasion,” Kaino told the Super Rugby website.

“It is really good to be able to play a team like Ireland, they’ve been building the last couple of years and having a game where neither team has the home advantage will be good.

“They are quality opposition and it will be good to take it over to the States.”

“I knew rugby was slowly building and getting a bit of momentum over in the States but the ex-pat community over there is huge and the interest involved was quite surprising but it is good to know we have that support over there.

“Without a doubt Ireland will have some support, they always come in droves wherever they play.

“It’s good for the game and I’ll try to get some form and hopefully be a part of it.”

First up for Kaino however is a Super Rugby campaign with the Blues where the 32-year-old flanker will be working with rising stars Akira and Rieko Ioane.

The brothers are back in training following their stint with New Zealand Sevens and Kaino was full of praise for the talented duo ahead of their first full season of Super Rugby.

“It’s crazy, you look at Akira, the size of him and he’s got the speed and skills to go with it and with Rieko, when you realise how old he is it is quite freaky,” Kaino added.

“I’m looking forward to working alongside them to see what they can do.

“They’ve got bright futures.

“Hopefully we can create a culture and an environment where they can blossom.”