Wellington - Rugby World Cup-winning former All Blacks coach Graham Henry is taking his
talents to rugby league, announcing on Tuesday he has teamed up with the
struggling Warriors in the Australian National Rugby League (NRL).
Henry, who guided the All Blacks to victory in the 2011 World Cup,
will be with the Warriors for the next month working with coach Andrew
McFadden, the New Zealand-based club said.
"I've got a lot of time for him as a coach and I also really enjoy his company," Henry said.
"We've had some healthy discussions about coaching previously and I'm
thrilled to have the chance to be able to work with him, to observe the
organisation and to provide some feedback."
The Warriors have had a chequered history in the NRL and this season lie 10th of 16 teams with four wins from nine matches.
Six players were recently dropped for breaching team protocols, amid
allegations five of them drank a mixture of prescription drugs and
energy drinks on a night out after a 42-0 hiding by the Melbourne Storm.
The cocktail reportedly achieves an amphetamine-like high without breaching doping rules.
Three of the players, with international pedigree, were subsequently
left out of the New Zealand team beaten 16-0 by Australia last Friday.
McFadden said he had considered a number of options before calling on
Henry, who has also coached Wales and the British and Irish Lions.
"In the end we were really fortunate to be able to secure (Henry's) services," McFadden said.
"It's a real privilege to have him involved and I know it's going to
be hugely beneficial not only for me personally but for the squad as a
It was the first of two overtures to All Blacks legends, with New
Zealand Football also calling on Wayne Smith and John Kirwan to help the
All Whites prepare for this month's Oceania Nations Cup in Papua New
All Whites coach Anthony Hudson said the appearance of Kirwan and
Smith at a New Zealand team training camp on Tuesday had a significant
impact on his players.
Kirwan and Smith have won three Rugby World Cups between them as a
player and assistant coach respectively, and White said he hoped they
could help further develop the All Whites' team culture.
"There are some common traits of what it means to be a Kiwi, like the
never-say-die attitude, work ethic and pride, and we don't want to go
away from that," he said.
"I'm just trying to gain from their experience because it's two men
who really understand what it means to represent New Zealand. That has
to be at the heart of what we do."