All Blacks flanker Kaino returns to New Zealand

All Blacks flanker Jerome Kaino has returned home to New Zealand due to a personal matter ahead of Saturday's Bledisloe Cup opener against the Wallabies.

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) confirmed Kaino left the All Blacks' camp on the day of their Rugby Championship showdown in Sydney amid allegations the 34-year-old cheated on his wife with a former Australian model.

Kaino - a key member of New Zealand's Rugby World Cup triumphs in 2011 and 2015 - was not in the matchday squad to face the Wallabies.

It comes as the NZR investigates claims All Blacks star Aaron Smith misled team management over a toilet incident with a woman at Christchurch airport last year.

"We certainly understand that our game and our players are under public scrutiny and these latest stories are concerning," said NZR CEO Steve Tew in a statement.

"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."

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