St Kentigern old boy Jerome Kaino defends boycotted school over poaching claims

Former All Black Jerome Kaino has jumped to the defence of his old high school Saint Kentigern amid the ongoing debacle over accusations made against the school about its recruitment processes.

Kaino is the latest Kiwi rugby star to take to social media in defence of the Auckland secondary school after it was revealed earlier this week rivals will boycott them in 2019 because they were "poaching" talent.

"People like myself, John Afoa, Joe Rokocoko [and you will know others] would possibly never have achieved what we have without the opportunity presented by St Kentigern College, and that's the same for many young men given opportunities by other schools along the way," he wrote on Instagram.

"If the rules of today don't fit then surely sit around a tables and work them out to retain the integrity of the competition."

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    After Saint Kentigern's recruiting tactics came under the spotlight, the Breakfast team couldn't help but wonder who it benefits. Source: Breakfast

    The 35-year-old, originally from American Samoa, moved to New Zealand when he was young and begun his rugby career at Papakura High School before he was offered a scholarship to St Kentigern.

    Kaino moved schools and went on to become a world-renowned loose forward with over 100 Super Rugby matches at the Blues as well as 81 Tests for the All Blacks.

    It comes after current All Black Rieko Ioane took to social media to address the issue as well - despite being an old boy from one of the boycotting schools, Auckland Grammar.

    "I've seen it all now. Just because they recruit doesn't mean you pull [the] plug. Don't run from the competition.

    "St Kents makes first XV competition harder, but it makes it better when you beat them."

    St Kentigern head David Hodge confirmed in a letter to parents the school is working with College Sport Auckland to launch an arbitration against the boycott.

    "We do not accept claims that we have acted inconsistently with our values or that we "recruit" players, which we do not do."

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