New Zealand Rugby
Blues reveal interest in Henry
ESPNscrum Staff
November 14, 2011
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
Henry stepped down from the All Blacks coaching role following their Rugby World Cup triumph © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Sir Graham Henry
Tournaments/Tours: Super Rugby
Teams: Blues | New Zealand | Wales

The Blues have confirmed their interest in acquiring the services of former All Blacks head coach Graham Henry.

Henry, who stepped down as All Blacks boss following their recent Rugby World Cup triumph, is currently in discussions with the New Zealand Rugby Union about taking on a coaching mentoring role at provincial and Super Rugby level with a consultancy role overseas also an option. But Blues chief executive Andy Dalton is keen to see him return to Auckland having helped the franchise claim their last title back in 2003.

"He's aware of our interest and we'll be talking to him over the next few months to see how that might look," Dalton told the Sunday News. "There's no formal offer but we are aware the NZRU is talking to him and we're on the case with that. Graham has got some wonderful experience and skill and we would love to have him involved. We'd certainly be keen to see as much of him as we can."

Henry's long-standing relationship with current Blues coach Pat Lam could be a key factor in luring the 65-year-old back on board. "The best thing for New Zealand rugby is for Graham to stay involved," Lam told the newspaper. "I've had a good relationship with Graham right from my school days. He's been one of the big mentors in my coaching career and also a very good friend. We talk rugby a lot, we share ideas. Nothing has changed, even though he's a world champion."

Any NZRU-funded deal is set to demand Henry's expertise is shared around the franchises but the Blues are the first to publicly express their desire for his input. "I'm sure there'll be a lot of demand for him offshore as well. We need to understand how that structure is going to look," Dalton said. "I know Graham very well. He's a generous man with his time. It's not something people see a lot of."

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