NEWSDESK: Rugby World Cup 2011 winning coach Graham Henry should cease cackling around the end of the decade, according to All Black doctor Deb Robinson. Henry, the first All Black coach to secure the William Webb Ellis trophy since 1987, used to be known for his stern manner and take-no-prisoners approach with journalists, but the ex-headmaster’s appearances now feature raucous laughter, grinning and winking, punctuated with dubious anecdotes, all of which are being lapped up by an adoring rugby public and media.
In a series of increasingly comedic outbursts, Henry told a Hawke’s Bay dinner audience how close he’d come to drinking wine and smoking marijuana in the south of France, described English rugby officials as ‘fucking arseholes’ at a corporate engagement and gave a powerpoint presentation on new All Black coach Steve Hansen’s farting and early morning ablutions to a South Canterbury high school rugby prizegiving.
Asked for comment, Henry said: “Tremendous. Just marvellous. Tremendous. Marvellous,” and laughed for five or six minutes before the line went dead.
All Blacks Doctor Deb Robinson said “Letting off steam when you’ve been under immense pressure is natural, and he should stop cackling when it feels right to him, even if that’s several years away. If the rugby public sees Graham wandering the streets laughing un-supervised, the best thing people can do is wrap him lightly but firmly in a blanket, put him in a Corporate Cab and send him to NZRFU HQ in Wellington.”
Asked if a tired and emotional ex-All Black coach with a microphone was a PR risk, NZRFU CEO Steve Tew said “Ted is a professional, and we trust his judgement. However, we would to see Ted transition public appearances from ‘public speaking’ and ‘interviews’ to a ‘trips to the dairy’ or ‘boat ramp’ space, but I’m sure we can come to an arrangement.”