May 19, 2020 / 3:16 AM / 17 days ago

Rugby-After hitting the wall, Kaino wants to hit the ground running

WELLINGTON, May 19 (Reuters) - Jerome Kaino’s motivation started to wane as the weeks went by during France’s coronavirus lockdown but the former All Blacks flanker says remembering he probably had just one more season of top class rugby left helped him rediscover his enthusiasm.

The 37-year-old, who expects to retire from professional rugby next year, has been in isolation in Toulouse since mid-March after France’s government issued a nationwide lockdown to stem the transmission of the novel coronavirus.

The two-time World Cup winner told former All Blacks team mate Dan Carter that while he had initially been keen to keep up his fitness during the lockdown, he quickly lost all enthusiasm when it entered a second month.

“I was training pretty hard for the first four weeks,” he said in a video in Carter’s ‘Kickin’ It’ series on Instagram. “And then when we got to week four we got notified it would be another four weeks and I hit a wall.”

However, Kaino said he had picked up his training again recently as he wanted to “hit the ground running” ahead of his what is likely to be his final season in France, with organisers having agreed to abandon this year’s competition.

He also recognised that like 38-year-old Carter, age had slowed him down and it took a lot longer to get his body loosened up for training sessions.

“I tried to get to training early ... because we have this (spa bath) and I hop in that to warm up before I warm up,” Kaino said with a grin.

“The other boys would trickle in and warm up and start doing their drills and I’m just half way through doing my hip and knee warmups.

“I have noticed that over the years, it gradually gets longer and longer to do the warmups.”

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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