The great Graham Henry returns to coaching
He will join Tai Lavea as part of the Auckland Rugby coaching team for 2018.
Henry will look to provide mentorship to both players and coaches given his much-vaunted experience at both international and domestic level. Lavea too boasts an impressive coaching resume with five 1A titles in seven years, as well as a National first XV title in 2012.
This on-field success is allied with an extensive talent identification record, which has seen no less than five players go on to represent Auckland at the highest level after coming under his tutelage.
Head Coach, Alama Ieremia, is enthused by the prospect of working alongside the former All Black Coach from not only a technical and tactical point of view but also one of identity and culture. "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.
Additionally, a key aspect of Graham’s involvement in 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 NPC team this year.
"Having Sir Graham with his experience will enhance that for this team,"
Speaking on the addition of Lavea to the coaching set-up, Ieremia acknowledged the strength of the region’s coaching stocks at both club and school level, which was made clear after a wide-ranging search. Ieremia sees Lavea’s background in the development of the young players coming through as an important aspect of bringing this young Auckland side together.
"Tai has had a lot of success and understands the landscape with the young players coming through. 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 out of our squad in 2018,"
There will soon be a further coach added to the current team of Ieremia, Lavea and Henry, with their area of responsibility focused on Forwards and Contact