Graham Henry rules out England job


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The Independent Online

New Zealand's World Cup-winning coach Graham Henry today ruled out the possibility of working with England and declared: "It is time to move on."

Henry, who admitted he was surprised Martin Johnson had stood down as England manager, confirmed he has "no desire to coach a team" after 140 Tests in charge of Wales, the Lions and the All Blacks.

The Rugby Football Union are in the process of working out their succession plans, with one possibility being that Stuart Lancaster will take charge on a caretaker basis for the RBS 6 Nations Championship.

Henry wants to keep his hand in the sport but he is looking for an advisory role with a Heineken Cup team and does not see himself involved in Test rugby again.

"I am contracted to the New Zealand Rugby Union until the end of March. I have no desire to coach a team," Henry said.

"I have done 140 Tests and that is probably enough. I have been very privileged. I just think it is time to move on (from Test rugby).

"You never say never but my desire is to live in New Zealand predominantly.

"If there is someone who wants me in this part of the world as an advisor, perhaps a Heineken Cup team, I would be interested in looking at that.

"That interests me and I like what I see in that competition.

"There is a lot of passion about that competition and a lot of good footie played and some interesting places to go to and some good rugby teams.

"That is not for this particular season but maybe if the occasion arose it could happen next year."

When asked what he would say if the RFU asked him to name his price, Henry added: "I have got enough problems. I need some recovery time."

Henry, who is in London to coach the Barbarians against Australia at Twickenham on Saturday, said his chances of being involved in Test rugby this time next year were "zero out of 10".

When Johnson announced his decision to stand down following England's disappointing World Cup campaign, he indicated he was walking before the RFU had a chance to push him.

Four years ago, Henry was retained by the NZRU following a four month review into the All Blacks' quarter-final exit at the 2007 World Cup.

Henry believes unions often act too quickly and he feels continuity at the top is vital to the success of any international team.

"If a person is a quality coach they learn a lot from their experiences in the job and they get better at it," Henry said.

"I wasn't talking about anyone in particular but too often unions sack people or they are moved when they are going to get better at what they do.

"That is a general statement. I know Martin Johnson from 2001 (Lions tour). He is a hell of a good guy who was inspirational to the team.

"My experience was as a coach-captain situation. I can't comment about his coaching. I have only coached against him and those games have always been very competitive.

"I was surprised (he went)."

Meanwhile, Mike Tindall's appeal against the £25,000 fine imposed on him by the RFU will be heard at Twickenham on Thursday.

The 33-year-old was fined and dropped from the England squad following an RFU investigation into his conduct during a night out in Queenstown during the World Cup.

Tindall was among the group of players who went out for drinks after being given the night off and he was captured on CCTV footage from the Altitude Bar in conversation with a woman.

The Gloucester centre later issued an apology for misleading the England management over his movements that night, having initially claimed he did not go on to another bar.

The Rugby Players' Association described Tindall's fine, which was handed down by the RFU's elite rugby director Rob Andrew, as "extraordinary" and "unprecedented".

Tindall's appeal will be heard by the RFU's acting chief executive Martyn Thomas.