Leo Cullen: We will all benefit from Graham Henry’s ‘expertise’

Leinster coach: ‘I felt it was important to look at different ways of challenging ourselves’

Graham Henry will join Leinster as a consultant on July 30th. Photograph: Ross Land/Getty Images

Graham Henry will join Leinster as a consultant on July 30th. Photograph: Ross Land/Getty Images

 

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen is confident that everyone in the province will benefit from the “expertise” of former Wales, British and Irish Lions, and All Blacks head coach Graham Henry - as he begins his short term contract as a consultant at the end of the month.

The New Zealand native led his country to their 2011 World Cup triumph and will join Leinster during the pre-season. He will remain with the province for a number of weeks before the start of the 2016/17 season. During his time with the team he will also be speaking with club and school coaches.

Commenting on the appointment Leo Cullen said, “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.

“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.”

Having led the Auckland Blues to two Super Rugby titles, Henry was appointed head coach of Wales in 1998 before leading the British and Irish Lions on their tour to Australia in 2001. He was appointed New Zealand head coach in 2004, taking the All Blacks to two World Cups culminating in their 2011 triumph.

Speaking about the role, he said, “It’s a privilege to be asked to assist Leo and his team at Leinster, a club with such a rich and proud history.”

Meanwhile Elverys Intersport is to be the new title sponsor and official retail partner of Connacht Rugby. The new three-year deal will re-establish Elverys’ relationship with Connacht Rugby dating back to 2005 . Replacing last year’s sponsors Lifestyle Sports.

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