New Zealand Rugby
ITM coach angered by All Blacks rest
September 16, 2010
Jerome Kaino has become the object of a tug-of-war between club and country © Getty Images
Graham Henry's rest and recovery program for his leading All Blacks had angered Auckland coach Mark Anscombe, who wants flanker Jerome Kaino available for ITM Cup action.
Kaino is one of nine All Blacks who will not play rugby again until the end of year tour, with the national coaches wanting them to rest over the next five weeks.
Henry and his staff have one eye on the World Cup in a year's time and they want to ensure their players get rested whenever possible, with the northern hemisphere tour to be followed by and expanded Super Rugby competition next year.
But Anscombe said he was surprised and disappointed by the decision to rule Kaino out.
"He's (Kaino) contracted to us and the players collective says a two week stand-down," Anscombe told One News. "So we understand and support that, but after that the question's got to be asked - why does it have to be longer? He didn't play the last Test, he came off the bench and made a great cameo but it was a couple of weeks before that before he had (played)."
Anscombe believed the 27-year-old's form would only improve with more game time.
"Jerome, when you look at him over the years, when does he play his best rugby? When he's consisitently playing," he said.
Anscombe will approach All Blacks management to see if there is a chance they would relax their stance on the powerful loose forward.