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Kaino heaps praise on Irish boss Schmidt

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 31/10/2016 Angelo Risso

Kiwi-born Ireland boss Joe Schmidt is on a par with the finest rugby coaches New Zealand has exported, according to Test blindside Jerome Kaino.

Kaino, 33, worked with Schmidt at the Blues from his 2004 Super Rugby debut to the coach's 2007 departure for French rugby outfit Clermont Auvergne.

Then an assistant coach, Schmidt was already displaying the meticulous attention to detail and energy that has led to Ireland secure two Six Nations titles under his watch.

"You see the way Ireland are very structured in the way they play, you see a lot of Joe Schmidt in their game plans," Kaino said.

"He's a very good coach and definitely what you'd call a rugbyhead - he always had the laptop with a rugby game going on."

Schmidt has been left without a trio of influential forwards for Saturday's match at Soldier Field in Chicago, with Sean O'Brien, Iain Henderson and Peter O'Mahony crocked.

Ulster first-five Paddy Jackson will also miss the trip across the pond, leaving the uncapped Joey Carbery as back-up for star playmaker Johnny Sexton.

Kiwi-born back Jared Payne will also make his first appearance against the country of his birth after debuting for Ireland in 2014.

Kaino, who made 40 tackles as the All Blacks cruised to the 2016 Rugby Championship, was relieved to see fellow loose forward O'Brien miss out with a hamstring complaint.

The Leinster flanker had dominated the last time his country took on New Zealand in 2013, losing 24-22 to a last-gasp Aaron Cruden conversion.

"Looking back to 2013 when we just beat them, Sean was the spearhead of their physicality and the way they were contesting the breakdown," Kaino said.

"(But) they'll still have their leader Jamie Heaslip there, who is a major threat."

The All Blacks will ramp up their physical preparation for their second ever Test on US soil from Monday after a weekend of sightseeing and shaking off jet lag.

New Zealand has never lost to Ireland, having won 27 and drawn one of their 28 Tests.

Kaino said his side weren't about to let that record slip despite being at the end of a gruelling rugby season at both club and Test level.

They would have to improve on last fortnight's 37-10 third Bledisloe victory against Australia to trump the Irish again.

"I'm sure the coaches will touch on that but for us, we just reviewed our Australian game and we weren't happy with how we performed," Kaino said.

"That scoreboard might say something different, but we knew that in areas we got dominated."

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