Toulouse sign All Black World-Cup winner Kaino

All Black Jerome Kaino will bring his "willingness to work" to Toulouse for two seasons (AFP Photo/Martin BUREAU)
All Black Jerome Kaino will bring his "willingness to work" to Toulouse for two seasons (AFP Photo/Martin BUREAU)

Toulouse (France) (AFP) - All Black back-row forward Jerome Kaino, a double world champion, will join Toulouse on a two-year contract, club president Didier Lacroix announced on Thursday.

The signing of a star player who was also being eyed by French Top 14 rivals Toulon represents a coup for Toulouse. Kaino, who turns 35 in April, played 81 times for New Zealand and won the World Cup in 2011 and 2015.

Kaino had announced on Wednesday that he was retiring from the national team and would head to a French club at the end of the Super Rugby campaign for his current team, the Auckland Blues.

Lacroix said Toulouse were signing "more than a player".

He said Kaino "is someone who will bring his experience, his high standards, his willingness to work" to "grow" his teammates and help the club's play "evolve."

"There are players like that, I do not think there are 10 on the planet but he is one of them," added the Toulouse president.