Graham Henry re-appointed All Blacks coach
Graham Henry re-appointed All Blacks
Graham Henry has been re-appointed to the position of All Blacks Coach, the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) announced today.
The decision of the NZRU Board follows interviews with Mr Henry and the three other short-listed candidates Colin Cooper, Robbie Deans and Ian Foster yesterday.
NZRU Acting Chairman Mike Eagle said that the appointment follows a thorough process, which reflects the importance of this position to New Zealand rugby.
Mr Eagle said the Board was very impressed with the interviews and discussions with all four candidates, which underscored the depth of coaching talent in New Zealand rugby.
“At the end of the process, the Board concluded that Graham Henry was the best candidate for the position,” he said.
“We are all disappointed not to have won the Rugby World Cup. In that regard, the NZRU Board accepts it was jointly responsible and accountable for the result and the planning that went into the campaign. We are committed to learning the key lessons, which will be explored in the independent review announced earlier this week led by Mike Heron and high performance expert Don Tricker.”
Mr Eagle said the appointment decision was based on Graham’s remarkable results over a four-year tenure.
“Graham’s record, both on and off the field, is among the best in All Blacks rugby history. He has set a very high standard in coaching, player management, and integration with the wider New Zealand rugby community. He has given a lot in a successful period for our game and the Board is convinced he has more to give the All Blacks and New Zealand rugby.
“As a result, we believe that in the best interests of New Zealand rugby, Graham and his team were the right choice.”
Mr Henry has been appointed for a two-year term.
“I’m very grateful for the chance to continue,” said Mr. Henry.
“We have been a strong and successful team over the last few years but we were hugely disappointed we didn’t bring the World Cup back for New Zealanders. We have learnt lessons from this campaign and we now look forward to being able to build on those learnings and the experience we have.”
Noting Mr. Henry’s achievements, Mr Eagle said that since taking up his role, the All Blacks had defended the Bledisloe Cup four times, won the Philips Tri Nations three times, achieved a clean-sweep of the British and Irish Lions and a Grand Slam in 2005, and was unbeaten at home and, until the quarter-final loss in Cardiff, was unbeaten in Europe in four seasons.