Sun, 20 Sep 2020

Graham Henry criticises All Blacks coaching process

13 Dec 2019, 18:43 GMT+10

Cape Town - Rugby World Cup-winning head coach Graham Henry has criticised New Zealand Rugby's selection process for their recent All Blacks coaching appointment.

Henry, who was the All Blacks head coach when they won the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2011, was part of the panel that selected Ian Foster as the new All Blacks coach.

Foster served as his predecessor Steve Hansen's assistant for seven years and beat out Crusaders coach Scott Robertson to take over the coaching reins from Hansen.

And Henry feels there were too few applicants for the All Blacks job.

"We should've had more to be fair, more applications, and I think New Zealand Rugby's learned from that," he told Radio Sport.

Two of the other applicants, Glasgow Warriors boss Dave Rennie and Japan's Jamie Joseph, accepted positions with international teams.

Rennie was appointed as Australia's new coach while Joseph extended his stay with the Brave Blossoms.

Foster's appointment has been criticised in some quarters with many feeling that New Zealand needed to start afresh with a coach who was not part of the recent All Blacks coaching set-up.

Henry agrees and feels New Zealand Rugby will have to come with a new approach.

"They (New Zealand Rugby) need to knock down the castle and build it again," he said.

"Winning is everything, winning won't occur unless they have the foundations right and new foundations because you can't continue with what's happening in the past. It gets mundane."

Henry believes the All Blacks' performance at this year's World Cup - where they lost to England in the semi-finals - will be used as a much-needed catalyst and hopes Foster can launch a new age.

"Losing (to England) at the Rugby World Cup will add to the edge and the desire to get better," he added.

"If you keep on winning you probably get a wee bit complacent and don't make changes. Losing to England will add desire, add change.

"I think the new team that Fozzie finishes up with has got to develop their own identity, their own purpose, their own culture."

Henry, 73, said Robertson's time will come to take charge of the All Blacks.

"I think he's got the passion to coach the All Blacks and that's what he really wants to do and I think it's in his psyche," added Henry.

"I think he will be the All Black coach, it's just a matter of time. He's 45, isn't he? He's just a baby as far as coaches are concerned, very talented, very enthusiastic ... he's just got to be a bit patient."

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