Henry steps down as All Blacks coach

Updated: 2011-11-02 08:01

(China Daily)

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WELLINGTON - Graham Henry stood down as coach of the All Blacks on Tuesday, nine days after guiding New Zealand to a second World Cup triumph on home soil.

The 65-year-old, whose team beat France 8-7 in the final at Eden Park, told a news conference in Auckland that he had "had enough" after eight years in a job considered his country's second-most scrutinized after that of Prime Minister.

"It has been a privilege to be involved in the All Blacks," he said. "I'm very proud of what they've done over the last eight years. They have certainly added to the legacy of All Blacks rugby."

As well as the World Cup triumph, Henry steered the All Blacks to 88 wins in 103 Tests, clinched five Tri-Nations titles, swept the 2005 British and Irish Lions and completed grand slam tours in 2005, 2008 and 2010.

Henry, linked with a possible role in the England set-up or a return to the Auckland Blues where he enjoyed great success before moving into Test rugby, said he would be making no immediate announcement on his future plans.

"I'd just like to say thanks to the guys who have played over those eight years, those 103 tests," he said. "Especially thanks to Tana Umaga and Richie McCaw who were the long-term captains over that time."

Taking over the team in 2004 after stints as Wales and British and Irish Lions coach, Henry inherited a side that had crashed out of the semifinals of the 2003 World Cup under John Mitchell.

The former secondary school headmaster nicknamed "Ted" set about building a team that swept all before it from 2005, including a series sweep of the Lions and the team's second grand slam tour of Britain.


(China Daily 11/02/2011 page22)