Rugby World Cup
All Blacks' Jerome Kaino getting up to speed with 'dark arts' ahead of Rugby World Cup
ESPN Staff
September 10, 2015
All Blacks number one for a reason - Fitzpatrick

Jerome Kaino is getting himself up to speed with some of rugby's "dark arts" as he embarks on his second Rugby World Cup campaign after having been a huge presence in New Zealand's triumph four years ago.

Kaino, a blindside flanker and No.8, will provide back-up at lock after the All Blacks selectors opted to take just three specialists for the tournament in Britain. The 60-Test campaigner had 60 minutes at lock during an opposed training session in Auckland this week, saying: "It wasn't too bad.

"Obviously you have to stick your head in some dark places in the tight five, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and it adds a string to my bow."

New Zealand's Jerome Kaino spoke to the media after the All Blacks arrived in Britain, Royal Garden Hotel, London, November 3, 2014
Jerome Kaino © Getty Images

Kaino said he was brushing up on his scrummaging with forwards coach and scrum guru Mike Cron.

"There are different areas you need to work on - obviously the dark arts of scrummaging," he said. "But I've been there before and I've scrummaged, and 'Crono' has got some good tips for me. It wasn't too bad. I wouldn't call it hard. It was different."

Kaino played all of the All Blacks' seven matches in the 2011 World Cup, bar the last minute of the semi-final against Australia, and he is one of 14 survivors from that tournament in the present 31-man squad. He said the All Blacks could take confidence out of what they achieved four years ago, but they also had to start afresh.

"Being world champions, having that title doesn't give us anything," he said. "Getting over there, everyone is going to want to knock us off so we have to prepare for that. We can't live on 2011 to get us through."

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