Sunday 11 December 2016

Leinster elaborate on how All Blacks World Cup-winner Graham Henry will help rejuvenate the province

Published 01/07/2016 | 10:17

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 24: Richie McCaw, (L) the All Black captain and head coach Graham Henry show the world cup to the massed crowds during the New Zealand All Blacks 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup celebration parade on October 24, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. The All Blacks won the 2011 RWC Final last night by defeating France 8-7 at Eden Park. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 24: Richie McCaw, (L) the All Black captain and head coach Graham Henry show the world cup to the massed crowds during the New Zealand All Blacks 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup celebration parade on October 24, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. The All Blacks won the 2011 RWC Final last night by defeating France 8-7 at Eden Park. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Leinster have finally confirmed that legendary coach Graham Henry will be joining the province this summer in an advisory role on a short term contract.

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Henry, who led the All Blacks to World Cup glory in 2011, has previously consulted with the Argentine national team, helping them to cultivate their expansive style.

Leinster fans will hope that Henry can achieve similar results in his short time in Dublin, where the Kiwi will look to impart his wisdom on the team's inexperience homegrown coaching ticket.

Leo Cullen's first season as head coach was mixed, with the province suffering a disastrous run of results in Europe before making the final of the Pro12, where they were comprehensively beaten by Connacht.

With key backs Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan, Luke Fitzgerald and Ben Te'o no longer part of the set-up, any help that Henry can give Cullen and backs coach Girvan Dempsey in attack will no doubt be gratefully received.

In a statement released today, the province confirmed that Henry's role with the team is set to last a number of weeks and revealed that in addition to working with the senior team, he will 'also be speaking with club and school coaches as part of a programme of events.'

"This isn't by any means a first for Leinster Rugby and I felt it was important for myself and the wider coaching and playing staff in Leinster to look at different ways of challenging ourselves," Cullen said in a statement.

"To that end I am delighted that Graham has decided to work with us and I would like to publicly thank the Professional Games Board in Leinster for their support with this decision.

"Everyone in the organisation will benefit from his expertise and undoubtedly the coaches and the players will benefit from having a coach of his stature in and amongst us as we build towards the new season.”

It remains to be seen how much of an impact Henry can make in such a short time, but a coach with his impressive pedigree is sure to leave an imprint as Leinster look to reclaim their position at the summit of European rugby.

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