Saturday 23 September 2017

New Zealand World Cup winning coach Graham Henry tips Warren Gatland to coach the All Blacks

Graham Henry coach of the All Blacks and Warren Gatland coach of Wales shake hands in the corridor during a New Zealand All Black Captain's Run at the Millennium Stadium on November 21, 2008 in Cardiff, England. (Photo by Ross Land/Getty Images)
Graham Henry coach of the All Blacks and Warren Gatland coach of Wales shake hands in the corridor during a New Zealand All Black Captain's Run at the Millennium Stadium on November 21, 2008 in Cardiff, England. (Photo by Ross Land/Getty Images)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

New Zealand World Cup winning coach Graham Henry has tipped Lions boss Warren Gatland to one day coach the All Blacks, following the Lions second Test victory over the defending world champions in Wellington on Saturday.

The Lions 24-21 victory at Westpac Stadium marked just their seventh ever win over New Zealand and just Steve Hansen's fifth loss as All Blacks coach since he succeeded Henry as boss in 2012.

Both Hansen and Gatland are currently contracted with New Zealand Rugby and the Welsh Rugby Union respectively until the conclusion of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, and while Gatland has previously expressed an interest in returning to the Waikato Chiefs after the tournament, Henry says that he could see him potentially taking charge of the All Blacks.

"Warren's done a great job in getting them all together and he's possibly a future All Blacks coach," Henry told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek programme.

"He is one of the most experienced coaches in the world, he's had a long run with Wales and won a couple of Six Nations.

"He's been with the Lions for some time and done exceptionally well."

The Lions head into this Saturday's third Test in Auckland with the series tied at one win apiece, and if the tourists can become the first Lions side since Carwyn James' 1971 Lions to pick up a series win over the All Blacks, Henry said it would be an 'astronomical achievement' given the strength of this current New Zealand side.

"The All Blacks are currently the world champions and ranked number one in the world," added Henry.

"So to beat the All Blacks at home with a side which has had very little rugby together would be an astronomical achievement."

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