Henry rules himself out of England frame
November 22, 2011
Graham Henry favours a role with a club in the Heineken Cup © Getty Images
World Cup-winning coach Graham Henry has ruled out any suggestion of coaching England even if the Rugby Football Union approached him with a blank cheque.
Henry, who admitted he was surprised Martin Johnson had stood down as England manager, confirmed he has "no desire to coach a team" after 140 Tests in charge of Wales, the Lions and the All Blacks. The RFU are in the process of working out their succession plans, with one possibility being that Stuart Lancaster will take charge on a caretaker basis for the Six Nations Championship.
Henry wants to keep his hand in the sport but he is looking for an advisory role with a Heineken Cup team and does not see himself involved in Test rugby again.
"I am contracted to the New Zealand Rugby Union until the end of March. I have no desire to coach a team," Henry said. "I have done 140 Tests and that is probably enough. I have been very privileged. I just think it is time to move on [from Test rugby].
"You never say never but my desire is to live in New Zealand predominantly. If there is someone who wants me in this part of the world as an advisor, perhaps a Heineken Cup team, I would be interested in looking at that.
"That interests me and I like what I see in that competition. There is a lot of passion about that competition and a lot of good footie played and some interesting places to go to and some good rugby teams.
"That is not for this particular season but maybe if the occasion arose it could happen next year."
When asked what he would say if the RFU asked him to name his price, Henry added: "I have got enough problems. I need some recovery time."
Henry, who is in London to coach the Barbarians against Australia at Twickenham on Saturday, said his chances of being involved in Test rugby this time next year were "zero out of 10". When Johnson announced his decision to stand down following England's disappointing World Cup campaign, he indicated he was walking before the RFU had a chance to push him.
Four years ago, Henry was retained by the NZRU following a four month review into the All Blacks' quarter-final exit at the 2007 World Cup. Henry believes unions often act too quickly and he feels continuity at the top is vital to the success of any international team.
"If a person is a quality coach they learn a lot from their experiences in the job and they get better at it," Henry said. "I wasn't talking about anyone in particular but too often unions sack people or they are moved when they are going to get better at what they do.
"That is a general statement. I know Martin Johnson from 2001 [Lions tour]. He is a hell of a good guy who was inspirational to the team. My experience was as a coach-captain situation. I can't comment about his coaching. I have only coached against him and those games have always been very competitive.
"I was surprised [he went]."
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