Former All Blacks coach Sir Graham Henry returns to Auckland Rugby

Auckland Rugby has named former All Blacks boss Sir Graham Henry as part of its coaching set-up for the upcoming season.

The Rugby World Cup winner will be responsible for providing mentorship to players and coaches, given his experience at both domestic and international level.

'Ted' has previously coached the union, leading them to four National Provincial Championships during his five-year stint from 1992-97.

Having last served as a consultant to Irish club Leinster two years ago, Henry felt he couldn't stand on the side-lines any longer and watch the union continue to struggle.

"I've come back to Auckland Rugby, because I'm disappointed with what's happened in the last 10 years," he said.

"Rather than throw hand grenades from outside, I've come in to try and help from inside, and be a mentor to the coaches and players, and do a bit of coaching."

Henry will assist first-year head coach Alama Ieremia, who had been the Samoan national team coach, before resigning last year.

Henry previously served as an advisor to the Blues and John Kirwan in 2014.
Henry previously served as an advisor to the Blues and John Kirwan in 2014. Photo credit: Getty

Ieremia is confident Henry's addition can spark a turnaround of fortune and is looking forward to the impact he will make, not only on the field, but off it as well.

"Sir Graham obviously has a wealth of knowledge around the defence systems and trends of the game, with a track record that speaks for itself," Ieremia said.

"Additionally, a key aspect of Graham's involvement is his role as a mentor, not only to the coaches, but most importantly for the players.

"From a head coach's point of view, creating a culture and identity that people are proud of is a big rock for the Auckland Mitre 10 team this year.

"Having Sir Graham with his experience will enhance that for this team."

Five-time 1A secondary schools titlewinner Tai Lavea also joins the coaching line-up and boasts an impressive resume at schools level.

His on-field success is allied to an extensive talent identification record, having overseen no less than five players representing Auckland at the highest level, after graduating from his tutelage.

Ieremia is delighted to have somebody of Lavea's track record for developing young players in his staff.

"Tai has had a lot success and understands the landscape with the young players coming through," he said.

"We are aligned with key strategies, especially in the backline.

"Not only is being a homegrown Auckland coach important, but having a history and relationship with young and current players is vital to get the best of our squad in 2018."