Henry working ‘flat out’ since World Cup triumph
Sir Graham Henry has been busy since lifting the Rugby World Cup as All Blacks coach last year, finally bringing the Webb Ellis Cup back to New Zealand.
Sir Graham has worked with Kiwi rugby coaches, given advice to Olympic coaches, taken a role with the Argentinian rugby team and released his book Final Word.
‘‘I’ve been flat out but I’ve enjoyed it,’’ said the 66-year-old. ‘‘I’ve been working with the New Zealand Rugby Union, working with coaches and have a similar contract with High Performance Sport New Zealand, which is Olympic sport.’’
He talked to sailing, kayaking and hockey coaches before the London Games about how to set a high performance environment in their camps.
Sir Graham was in Porirua to promote his book written by Bob Howitt.
‘‘The feedback has been brilliant from anyone who has read it and I am very proud of the book. It’s the best selling nonfiction book in New Zealand but is being beaten by some book called Fifty Shades of Gray. I wanted there to be more sex in the book but Bob Howitt wouldn’t have it, so there you go.’’
Sir Graham’s coaching career began in the 1970s when he helped coach an under-20 side at his club in Christchurch.
‘‘They were the best young players in the club, so me and a mate of mine took over coaching the team, which I really enjoyed.’’
Shortly after he moved to Auckland, working at Auckland Grammar School as a teacher, and helped coach the first XV.
‘‘That was when I really started to take this coaching stuff seriously,’’ he said.
‘‘ When I was coaching at Auckland Grammar I had a little note pad in my desk and I’d written down a list of goals, and coaching the All Blacks was one of them.
‘‘I’ve ticked off every goal on that list. I won’t tell you all of them but I am very proud of what I’ve done.’’
He had spells as head coach of Auckland Grammar, then Kelston Boys’ High School until 1991. In 1992 he took over as Auckland coach in the NPC. In 1998 he left New Zealand to coach the Welsh national team.
By 2004 he had returned to New Zealand and was named coach of the All Blacks.
Despite a stellar run, the team flopped at the 2007 Rugby World Cup, losing to France in the quarterfinal.
Sir Graham was reappointed and guided the team to glory in 2011.
He has been in hot demand since, most recently working with the Argentinian national side in preparation for the inaugural Rugby Championship.
He believes Argentina will be able to hold their own against the SANZAR nations in time.
‘‘It will take time. They are the eighth-ranked team in the world, playing the number one, two and three. I don’t know if they can make it to a top three team but in about 10 years I think they’ll be doing very well.’’
Champion: Sir Graham Henry rubs shoulders with fan Emma Holland during a book-signing appearance at Paper Plus in Porirua last Wednesday.