Henry could sue after reports

2012-02-26 14:55
Graham Henry (File)

Wellington - Rugby World Cup-winning All Blacks coach Graham Henry may take legal action after lighthearted comments he made at a fundraising dinner on Thursday were reported by New Zealand media.

Henry said he had consulted his lawyers after the comments, made at a dinner for the Hawke's Bay Rugby Union, were reported by a provincial newspaper and picked up by other news organizations. He said he had been assured by event organisers he would not be reported.

Henry told guests at the $120-a-head function that if New Zealand had failed to win the World Cup he "would have been in the south of France smoking marijuana and drinking red wine."

New Zealand beat France 8-7 in the World Cup final but Henry said they would have romped to victory if star flyhalf Dan Carter had not been injured. Carter missed the final with a groin injury.

He also said it had been easy to motivate his players for the semi-final against Australia because of the behaviour of Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper.

Henry said on Sunday he was angry his comments had been published as "they were said in jest and in fun."

"I said at the time it wasn't for publication and I don't know how it got into the papers. I asked the people running it that there be no reporters," he said.

"I've now put it in the hands of my solicitor."

Henry retired after the Rugby World Cup final, ending an eight-year coaching tenure with the All Blacks during which he won 83 of his 105 Test matches. He now works for the New Zealand Rugby Union as a mentor to high-performance coaches.

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