Auckland - Former All Blacks coach Graham Henry will make a surprise return to coaching after being named as Auckland’s assistant coach for the 2018 Mitre 10 Cup season.
In an announcement made by Auckland Rugby on Friday, Henry and Tai Lavea were named as assistant coaches to head coach Alama Ieremia.
Ieremia said he was excited by the prospect of working alongside the former All Black coach from not only a technical and tactical point of view, but also one of identity and culture.
"Sir Graham obviously has a wealth of knowledge around the defence systems and trends of the game with a track record that speaks for itself," Ieremia told Auckland Rugby's official website.
"Additionally, a key aspect of Graham’s involvement is his role as a mentor not only to the coaches, but most importantly for the players.
"From a head coach’s point of view, creating a culture and identity that people are proud of is a big rock for the Auckland Mitre 10 Cup team this year. Having Sir Graham with his experience will enhance that for this team."
Henry, 71, brings extraordinary pedigree to the Auckland coaching set-up, having coached the All Blacks from 2004-2011 and being linked with Argentina as an assistant coach in recent seasons.
Lavea too boasts an impressive coaching resume with five Auckland Secondary Schools 1A titles in seven years, as well as a National 1st XV title in 2012.
There will soon be a further coach added to the current team of Ieremia, Lavea and Henry, with their area of responsibility focused on forwards and contact.