Jerome Kaino returns home from Sydney ahead of All Blacks-Wallabies test
Flanker Jerome Kaino has returned home ahead of the All Blacks' test against the Wallabies on Saturday night.
New Zealand Rugby has confirmed Kaino, who was not part of the match-day squad, has returned home to deal with a personal matter following the publication of a story in the Australian media on Saturday morning.
The Daily Telegraph in Sydney ran a story in the Saturday edition headlined 'Love Rat', accompanied by a photo of Kaino with model Tara Pokarier.
The Telegraph alleged the All Blacks loose forward had been "cheating on his wife with a former Australian model", claiming they had met in hotels in Auckland, Sydney and Brisbane before Pokarier discovered he was married.
The article claimed Pokarier arranged via Snapchat to meet Kaino when she was in Auckland in May last year.
A "close friend" was quoted in the article as stating Pokarier was shocked to discover that the All Black was married. "She was absolutely devastated when she realised he had a wife and kids."
Kaino's wife Diana reacted on Facebook with the word "devastated", but later deleted the post.
NZR chief executive Steve Tew said in a statement: "We certainly understand that our game and our players are under public scrutiny and these latest stories are concerning. As an employer, we will take some time to assess this.
"While NZR does not wish to comment on individual behaviour, it is clear that this is really hurting rugby, all the people concerned, our fans and supporters. We take these issues very seriously, and are also mindful that these issues affect people with families and loved ones.
"At a time when we are grappling with our cultural reputation, the Respect and Responsibility Review, which is currently under way, is even more important. The Review is being presented to the NZR Board this month and we are looking to make that public sometime in September."