Graham Henry plays down possible RFU role after standing down as New Zealand coach

 

Outgoing New Zealand coach Graham Henry has admitted a job in Europe would be "stimulating and challenging," but played down reports linking him with a role at the Rugby Football Union (RFU).

Henry stood down as All Blacks coach earlier today, nine days after leading them to the World Cup crown on home soil following an 8-7 victory over France.

The 65-year-old, who spent eight years in charge and ended with a record of 88 wins from 103 Tests, is in talks to stay on with the New Zealand Rugby Union as a "coach mentor" but also hinted he would consider a move to the northern hemisphere if the deal was right.

Reports last week suggested Henry was eyeing a role with England but he told Radio 5 Live this morning: "There was a wee bit of a stretch in the article.

"I would like to spend a little bit of time, not a long time because I have important family over here (in New Zealand), but a little bit of time assisting if there is a demand from a club or from a union in Europe over the next few years."

Asked whether the sporting challenge or the salary would be the determining factor, he added: "It's a bit of both to be frank, blatantly frank.

"If you are going to get involved in a club in Europe you can only do one club, that's important, and I haven't got a lot of time due to things in have to do in New Zealand.

"It would be stimulating and challenging but we will see what happens."

Henry also backed Martin Johnson to remain as England coach despite the team's shambolic World Cup campaign, which flattered to deceive on the pitch and was littered with disciplinary breaches off it.

He said: "I know Martin reasonably well as he was captain of the Lions in 2001 and he was a fabulous leader. I'd imagine he's still the same character, people don't change.

"Often we shoot our coaches because they haven't got the results but they remain the best people for the job. If Martin is the best person for the job he should be re-appointed."

At the press conference to announce his departure from the All Blacks coaching job, Henry told reporters: "It's been an enormous privilege to coach the All Blacks and I am exceptionally proud of how the team has added to the All Blacks legacy over the last eight years, involving 103 Test matches.

"I am also exceptionally proud of how they have developed an extremely professional and enjoyable culture and environment, and how they have reached out to people of all ages and put a smile on their faces, both here in New Zealand and overseas.

"So I want to say a special thank you and congratulations to all the players who have played during this time, especially to Tana Umaga and Richie McCaw, the two long-term captains."

Henry also hailed his support staff.

"Wayne Smith, Steve Hansen, Mike Cron and Mick Byrne are quality men and all outstanding in their individual coaching roles," he said.

NZRU chief executive Steve Tew paid tribute to Henry.

"He leaves the All Blacks job as one of the greatest coaches in the game," he said. "His record is unsurpassed and while he will now get time to spend with family and friends, and the odd bit of fishing, we are delighted that Graham is still going to be involved in New Zealand rugby."

Tew revealed: "He has a great relationship with the country's professional coaches, as well as other coaches, and he still has so much to offer the game and it's fantastic that up-and-coming New Zealand coaches will continue to benefit from his vast knowledge."

PA

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine