New Zealand head coach Graham Henry has hinted he would be willing to work with the RFU and England after stepping down from his role with the All Blacks following their 8-7 win over France in the World Cup Final.
Henry is widely believed to be preparing to leave his post with the All Blacks after guiding them to World Cup glory for the first time in 24 years, while England stuttered to defeat in the quarter finals against Les Blues, with head coach Martin Johnson coming under intense pressure to step down from his position following a string of off-the-field incidents to go along with those in an England rugby jersey’s insipid performances on the pitch.
Henry, who spent four years with Wales before being selected to coach the British & Irish Lions tour of Australia in 2001, admits he would be tempted by a development role with the RFU.
Yes, I would talk to the RFU, sure,” Henry told the Daily Telegraph.
“I couldn’t just not do anything. I would love to help other people.”
“I’m particularly proud about the environment created in this All Blacks team. I would love to work in coach development, player development, environmental development, cultural development of a group of people. I’m passionate about that.” he added.
It isn’t believed Johnson’s job as head coach would be threatened by the arrival of Henry should he take up a role in England, although where he would fit in in the RFU hierarchy remains unclear given the controversy that surrounded the governing body going in to the World Cup.
Former RFU chief executive John Steele lost his job after bungling a reshuffle before the tournament, while Professional Rugby Director Rob Andrew also finds himself under scrutiny and could lose his job following England’s World Cup debacle.
Henry warned the RFU against the dangers of a knee jerk reaction and called upon his own experiences when calls for his head were made following New Zealand’s World Cup exit at the hands of France in 2007 at the quarter final stage.
“Too many people with real ability get shot because of a result,” the 65-year-old said.
“Replacing a coach because of a result or because of public pressure or media pressure is not the right thing to do. Replacing a coach because he’s not good enough is the right thing to do.
“Look at all the successful coaches around the world. They’ve got longevity. Look at Sir Alex Ferguson, longevity.”