World Cup-winning coach Henry steps down

Henry and assistant coach Steve Hansen will now head for Europe to coach the Barbarians against  Australia.

Story highlights

  • Henry coached All Blacks to their first Rugby World Cup win in 24 years
  • He is expected to remain with New Zealand in a mentor role
  • 65-year old ended with a remarkable win percentage of 85.4% from 103 Tests
Graham Henry has stepped down as head coach of New Zealand's All Blacks just nine days after leading them to their first World Cup triumph since 1987.
Henry, who took charge of the team in 2003, is discussing the possibility of remaining with the New Zealand Rugby Union in a mentor role, though he has expressed interest in working with England's national set-up.
"It's been an enormous privilege to coach the All Blacks and I am exceptionally proud of how the team has added to the All Blacks legacy over the last eight years," Henry told a media conference in Auckland.
"I am also exceptionally proud of how they have developed an extremely professional and enjoyable culture and environment, and how they have reached out to people of all ages and put a smile on their faces, both here in New Zealand and overseas.
The narrow 8-7 win over France in Auckland on October 23, added the World Cup to the five Tri-Nations titles the All Blacks won under Henry's guidance.
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The 65-year old, who previously coached Wales and the British & Irish Lions, ended with a remarkable win percentage of 85.4% from 103 Tests.
"He leaves the All Blacks job as one of the greatest coaches in the game," said NZRU chief Steve Tew, in quotes carried by All Blacks.com.
"His record is unsurpassed and while he will now get time to spend with family and friends, and the odd bit of fishing, we are delighted that Graham is still going to be involved in New Zealand rugby."
However, Henry and assistant coach Steve Hansen will first head for Europe later this month after accepting an invitation to coach the Barbarians against Australia at Twickenham in London on November 26.