Graham Henry says New Zealand Rugby ‘cocked up’ by not considering Dave Rennie as Steve Hansen’s successor as All Blacks coach.
Speaking as a special guest as a private function, Henry – who coached the All Blacks to a World Cup triumph on home soil in 2011 – shared his personal views on NZR’s decision to appointment Ian Foster as head coach instead of Rennie, who is now coaching the Wallabies.
‘Dave Rennie is a fabulous coach, no doubt. New Zealand Rugby cocked that up,’ Henry said. ‘They should have been connecting with Dave and [Japan coach] Jamie Joseph and other people around the world to keep them involved in New Zealand Rugby.
‘But they didn’t contact Dave Rennie for three years, and Dave Rennie is fabulous, so he’s going to do a great job with Australia. Whether they’ve got the personnel to be up there for the World Cup, I think they probably will with Dave Rennie.
‘I talked in the media about this before and was asked who should coach the All Blacks and I was very vocal about Rennie. But he went to Glasgow and went and coached there after winning two Super titles with the Chiefs.’
Incidentally, Henry was on the panel to select Foster as Hansen’s successor along with long-time New Zealand Chairman Brent Impey, new CEO Mark Robinson, head of high performance Mike Anthony and netball icon Waimarama Taumaunu. But he has now admitted that they ‘stuffed up’ the appointment process.
‘I think he’s got it all and no disrespect to Fozzie, no disrespect, and New Zealand Rugby – this is some time ago, not recently – were meant to keep in contact with players and coaches who had a big influence with professional rugby in this country and went overseas and they didn’t do that. If they had done that with Dave Rennie he would have applied for the All Black job.
‘I think we stuffed up quite frankly because he is a quality person and a quality coach and you’ve seen it straight away with the Wallabies. They will play for him, and that’s no disrespect to Fozzie, that’s just circumstantial.’
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