Thursday 14 December 2017

Henry stamp of approval shows Heineken Cup's worldwide appeal

Tony Ward

Tony Ward

If anyone still doubts the enormity of the Heineken Cup, then recent comments from New Zealand World Cup-winning head coach Graham Henry are worth recording.

For Henry, who has coached Wales and New Zealand as well as the British and Irish Lions to Australia in 2001, only one challenge still floats his boat.

When asked recently if he would be interested in the England position, his answer was as ever frank and to the point.

"I have no desire to coach a team, I have done 140 Tests and that's enough, but if there was someone in this part of the world looking for an advisor to a Heineken Cup team, I would be interested in looking at that," he said.

"I like what I see in that competition. There is a lot of passion about it and a lot of good footie played, some interesting places to go and some good rugby teams."

Further proof, if such was necessary, of the ever-growing status of this extraordinary tournament worldwide.

When pressed as to what he might say if asked by the English RFU to name his price, he responded: "I have enough problems." Need we say anymore.

P.S. Former Leinster defensive coach Kurt McQuilkin has been appointed head coach of King Country RFC for 2012 in his native New Zealand.

He will follow in the footsteps of former Bective Rangers and King Country coach, dad Noel. For sure, Leinster's loss is the gain of the Kiwi domestic game.

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