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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jay Z has placed a bet on streaming being the future for music and videos
music
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury
music
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own