Jerome Kaino has admitted he has been busy on the internet researching the significance of Toulouse and the French Top 14 championship.
Toulouse have won the most Top 14 titles of any club – 19 – but they have been starved of victory since 2012, a gap the nervous Kaino is now determined to bridge at the Stade de France.
“There is always nervousness before playing a final,” he said to Midi Olympique, the bi-weekly French rugby newspaper. “A lot of excitement, too. Each competition is specific and we can’t compare the Top 14 and the World Cup because it’s different.
“It’s new to me and I’m necessarily a little nervous but it’s a good feeling. I spoke with William Servat and Maxime Médard, who have already been champion with Toulouse.
Retour vers le futur en Une de Midi Olympique.
— Midi Olympique (@midi_olympique) June 13, 2019
“I also watched videos on YouTube, with the Shield rising in the stands. I was able to measure how important this title was to people and those who win it. I want to be so and experience this incredible atmosphere.
“It is special indeed. It is already to arrive in the finals of the Top 14 but even more as captain of this club apart in French rugby, with its rich history and all its titles won.
“This is a great achievement and a great responsibility for me,” continued Kaino, the 36-year-old whose long career at home in New Zealand ended without club success.
“It has been very frustrating for me to have played all these years in New Zealand and never to have played in a final with my club, the Auckland Blues. Coming to France and already having the opportunity to win my first club title, it’s really incredible and very exciting.”
WATCH: Part one of the two-part RugbyPass documentary on what fans can expect in Japan at this year’s World Cup
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.