Rugby World Cup 2011

Henry: All Blacks inspired

2011-08-15 10:04
Graham Henry (Gallo)





Wellington - The huge weight of expectation in New Zealand that the All Blacks will win the Rugby World Cup on home soil in October is an inspiration to the team rather than a burden, according to coach Graham Henry.

The All Blacks are once again heading into a World Cup campaign as overwhelming favourites and know that the only way to satisfy the demands of the country's more than four million people is to raise the Webb Ellis Cup on October 23.

"It's inspirational," Henry said. "I don't think the All Blacks would be the world's winningest team in any sport, which is correct by a considerable margin, if we didn't have that expectation.

"So although it adds pressure, it's great pressure. I don't think we as New Zealanders actually appreciate what this team has done. I'm not talking about in my time, I'm talking about over 110 years. It's phenomenal."

The All Blacks have won more than two thirds of their tests over the years, and 22 of their last 23, but since their sole triumph in the inaugural World Cup in 1987 have developed a reputation as chokers in rugby's showpiece tournament.

"Winning a rugby World Cup is not part of our legacy and that hurts," Henry said in the interview on www.stuff.co.nz.

"So it's part of your motivation. But every time the All Blacks put on that black jersey it's bloody important. It's not about revenge; it's about doing the business. But those things that happened in the past fuel you."

Henry oversaw the last of those failures in Cardiff in 2007, when the All Blacks were knocked out of the tournament in the quarter-finals by hosts France.

"It always stays with you, and rightly so," Henry said. "It was massive. The first thing you feel is how to handle this as best you can for the people involved.

"I think we handled it bloody well. We didn't make any excuses, we took it on the chin and got on with life. That was very important for the young guys involved.

"Obviously it hurt, and still hurts. It was a difficult situation but I'm proud of the way we handled it as a group."

New Zealand continue their preparations for the World Cup, which starts on September 9, with a Tri-Nations Test against South Africa in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
39 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
 
Teams

Pool A

 
 
 
 

Pool B

 
 
 
 

Pool C

 
 
 
 

Pool D

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tank Lanning

Lessons learnt from RWC 2011

2011-10-26 16:45

A few vital life lessons from Tank Lanning's recent trip to New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup quarter and semi-finals. Read More

 
Rugby World Cup Wallpapers

Download your favourite RWC wallpaper here

 
Weather

Auckland

Wednesday

Showers late. Mostly cloudy. Mild.

Low
High

12°C
18°C

Current Conditions
 
Vote

Taking into account where it will be held, the likely player retirements and new coaches in charge, which team looks best-placed to mount a challenge to the All Blacks at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England?

 
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.