Graham Henry knighted
Sir Graham Henry (Gallo Images)
Wellington - Rugby World Cup winning All Blacks coach Sir Graham Henry has been officially knighted at a ceremony at Government House in Wellington.
According to the allblacks.com website
, the former All Blacks mentor, who stepped down after guiding the All Blacks to a 8-7 win over France in the 2011 World Cup final, received the honour from Governor-General Lieutenant General Sir Jerry Mateparae.
What made the occasion especially poignant for Sir Graham was that his 96-year-old mother made a special trip up from Christchurch to see her son be made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Henry couldn't even persuade his mother to watch the World Cup final in Auckland, but he was happy his entire family, including wife Raewyn, could attend.
Typically humble, Sir Graham said that the award couldn't have been bestowed without the help of his team, whom he said he missed immensely.
"They have been good mates for a long time. That day on October 23 was immense but we got through it and we survived.'
"It's (the knighthood) also a reward that I've accepted as part of a group of people, Richie and the boys, I have a huge amount of respect and pride for what they've achieve, for Steve and Wayne, fellow coaches, and the whole of the management team of the All Blacks."
Henry stepped down with an incredible 85.4% winning record, with 88 victories achieved in his 103-Test reign with the All Blacks.
As well as claiming the World Cup, Henry never lost the Bledisloe Cup during his watch, recorded three touring Grand Slams, won five Tri-Nations titles (including four straight), and guided the All Blacks to what is by aggregate the most comprehensive series defeat of the British and Irish Lions.Graham Henry knighted (Getty Images)