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.”
NEWSDESK: All Black selectors confirmed they were “pretty wasted” when selecting the team to face Tonga. Forwards coach Steve Hansen told a packed press conference: “We had a few selection headaches, so Smithy brought a box of Woody’s. It all kicked on from there.”
A lightly kebab-stained team sheet revealed the surprise combination of Sonny Bill Williams and Ma’a Nonu, and the inclusion of Isaia Toeava. “I was as surprised as anyone to see Kahui on the wing. Lucky Kronic has been banned, it could have been Mils at centre!” said Hansen.
“We looked at the whole squad, their form, the combinations… then we got fucko. One minute we’re discussing Conrad’s defence vs Sonny Bill’s offload, next thing I’m arguing with a bouncer about the club shutting at 5am. I wasn’t even up for a biggy!” said head coach Graham Henry. When asked if rotating the squad at this stage was dooming the team to repeat the mistakes of 2007’s early exit, a clearly tired and emotional Henry replied “Fight you,” before falling asleep awkwardly on his microphone.
NEWSDESK: The NZRFU announced today the re-appointment of the Graham Henry-led coaching regime until 2037. “We’ve often been accused of throwing the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to All Black coaching panels. This time we’re going to have the wee fella living with Mum and Dad until he’s old enough to rifle the liquor cabinet” said NZRFU CEO Steve Tew, before denying he was really, really high.
“I’m very pleased” said Henry, rubbing the leather elbow patches on his blazer, adding “This will give the players, and any of their kids interested in playing Rugby, real certainty”.
The All Black marketing machine has already swung into action, announcing a line of Wayne Smith driving gloves, Steve Hanson TV dinner trays and Ted’s Big Book Of Sudoku. A potential tie in with Werther’s Orignals is in the pipeline.
Radio Sport reported a 83% ratings drop-off around the time of the announcement as the majority of their listenership spontaneously combusted as one. South African media are reporting the re-appointment of Peter De Villliers until 2044 in a flanking manoeuvre.