Six Nations
Henry queries Lancaster's stance
ESPNscrum Staff
February 1, 2012
Graham Henry tells the media he's stepping down as All Blacks head coach, New Zealand press conference, Auckland University RFC, Auckland, New Zealand, November 1, 2011
Graham Henry has admitted he is unsure whether Lancaster's approach will work © Getty Images

World Cup winning coach Graham Henry has queried Stuart Lancaster's no-nonsense approach to squad discipline.

Lancaster has already dispatched two members of the 2011 World Cup squad- Danny Care and Delon Armitage - for breaches of discipline as he seeks to repair England's reputation following a World Cup laced with scandal.

But Henry - who cites Alex Ferguson's tactics of managing youth as a shining light in this field - believes Lancaster's zero-tolerance policy will lead to rebellion.

"If the three [England] coaches try to stamp their authority on the squad, as it seems they have with the axing of Danny Care and Delon Armitage, then they will fail," said Henry, writing for "Kids don't listen if you tell them what to do, you have to bring them with you, include them in the process.

"Our strategy would have been to assemble Team Care. Call it a duty of 'Care' if you like. We would have given him all the support that we could make available. The approach would have been the same with Armitage.

"Unfortunately England's new management seem to have drawn an immediate line. They have adopted a zero tolerance attitude. It just doesn't work with today's generation. Look how many chances Sir Alex Ferguson gives his young players and he rarely disciplines them too publicly."

Henry had to endure a drink-related incident during the World Cup when Cory Jane and Israel Dagg were seen in a bar 72 hours prior to their clash with Argentina. But rather than cast them out, Henry kept any disciplinary matters in-house and the pair went onto help New Zealand to World Cup glory. And Henry claims Lancaster's urgency over improving the squad's discipline is too much too soon.

"I understand Lancaster's need for discipline, and he knows the kids, but I just hope he hasn't been too authoritarian, too soon," Henry said. "If there is too much big stick, then today's kids will eventually rebel against you."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.