Argentina hire Graham Henry

2012-03-07 18:54

Buenos Aires - Former New Zealand and Wales coach Graham Henry, who led the All Blacks to the 2011 World Cup crown, was unveiled on Wednesday as a technical consultant to the Argentine Rugby Union (UAR).

The appointment of the five-time International Rugby Board coach of the year comes as the Pumas prepare to compete in the new Rugby Championship (Four Nations) against New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

Henry's role will have no impact on the position of head coach Santiago Phelan, with the UAR saying in a statement that the two will work closely together during preparations for international matches.

Henry will also work with the Union's High Performance department to help improve coaching and planning.

"Argentina's entry into the championship will be exciting but at the same time a massive challenge," said Henry at a press conference in Buenos Aires.

"It will be a big test to compete against the three top-ranked teams in the world.

"During seven weeks of the year, my role will be to offer help in creating a nationwide programme that will enable the UAR's leading coaches to build a more competitive national team.

"I hope that my eight years of experience of coaching in the Tri-Nations can help me to make a difference in my new role."

Henry led the All Blacks for seven years but stepped down after leading them to glory at last year's World Cup on home soil.

Before that he became known as 'The Great Redeemer' for his work during four years in charge of Wales.

The Pumas will play their inaugural Rugby Championship match against South Africa, on August 25, at the Estadio Malvinas Argentinas in the western city of Mendoza.