Graham Henry will lead New Zealand through to the 2011 World Cup after being re-appointed as All Blacks coach. We expected the first round of tri-nations games to be completed before the decision. Especially following the recent unimpressive performances in a 1-1 series draw with France and the 27-6 win over Italy, however the NZRU have stuck by Henry and his assistants Wayne Smith and Steven Hansen.
Henry, 63, has been in charge of the All Blacks since 2004, winning 57 of 66 Tests but losing in the quarter-finals of the 2007 World Cup. Henry has also won the Bledisloe Cup five times, the Tri-Nations title on four occasions and overseen a comprehensive 3-0 defeat of the British and Irish Lions in 2005.
Henry said (quote) It is a real privilege to be asked to do this job and coach this team, I’ve been doing it for a little while now and I’ve never thought of anything else, but it being a huge privilege to be able to do this job. (end quote)
NZRU chairman Jack Hobbs said: (quote) We think all three individually are very strong but as a coaching unit they are even stronger, holding all three was important. They have a formidable record and we hold them in very high regard. They are totally committed to New Zealand rugby and have become an important part of the wider organisation. It’s a reflection that as a group we believe they are greater than the parts. We didn’t want to run the risk of losing one of them through the course of the year which is always a possibility. (end quote)