Staff Graham Henry

Tezza91

Warriors Bench Player
Aug 4, 2013
117
I went to an all boys school in the 80's where rugby union was king. I can verify from my personal experience that this kind of pressure from the principal and the teachers was the norm.

Ok, I also went to an all boys school and played first xv. League was never really an option so no doubt it was different for me I guess.

But to essentially get the, "Don't play league or else". That's what I found hard to believe.

That's pretty much extortion of a minor. That principle would have been straight on the front page of the local.
 
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Miket12

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 20, 2012
10,629
I went to a high school in Tauranga where league was never played and students were "discouraged" from playing for the local league clubs over rugby for the school.

Then I shifted up to Auckland and went to Manurewa High School. I remember asking some one what the First XV was like and was told it was rubbish compared to the school's First XIII - suddenly felt like I was "home".
 

bruce

Warriors 1st Grader
Contributor
Sep 1, 2015
20,999
Many are called, none are chosen!
Monie was a chequebook coach at Parramatta and then at Wigan. He was past his use by date when they signed him.
Henry was the principal at Kelston Boys High School when I was there playing league for the school team and he made it obvious he wasnt a fan at all of Rugby League.
The butcher would have won him over. The butcher loves the club as much as anybody and he must have some confidence to get Henry involved. Henry must be almost 70 now anyway.
 

Miket12

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 20, 2012
10,629
Henry must be almost 70 now anyway.
Well, for a long time the Warriors has been thought of as a retirement destination according to some. BTW, according to the All Knowing Wiki, Henry will be 70 in June.
 
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bruce

Warriors 1st Grader
Contributor
Sep 1, 2015
20,999
Ok, I also went to an all boys school and played first xv. League was never really an option so no doubt it was different for me I guess.

But to essentially get the, "Don't play league or else". That's what I found hard to believe.

That's pretty much extortion of a minor. That principle would have been straight on the front page of the local.
Believe me it was worse than that and jokes on TV like league is a second class game for second class citizens. Just look at Peter Williams on TV1 when league gets mentioned.
Our second string team won a first grade game, we're only 1 win away from the 8 and we've just signed Graham Henry for a month. That's hardly bottom feeding...

Next trick is for our stoned soldiers to clean up and play right.. SGH knows how to make that happen.
A real glass half full man. If he can get all the squad to training on time he will be the most successful mentor since Daniel Anderson.
 
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jonno

Warriors 1st Grader
Jul 13, 2014
9,803
Interesting SGH stats.

Won the NPC four years in a row (1993-1996)

Won the super rugby champs in 96 and 97 (runner up in 98)

Came back as technical adviser in 2003, when the blues won their third and last title thus far...

Was nicknamed The Great Redeemer" by the media in Wales after getting their national team to 11 straight victories. Nice.

Stepped down from the AB's in 2011 as one of the most successful rugby coaches of all time: 88 wins in 103 tests at 85.4% and a world cup victory.

The team he left behind him has thus far won 91% of their games, losing only 1 game to each of Australia, South Africa and England.

Been mud ever since...
 
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Swanley

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 13, 2012
3,130
Tonbridge, Kent, UK
Nearly fell of my chair with laughter! :)



Yeah, not everyone will be happy with his appointment a lot of league lovers have a passionate hatred for Union and anything to do with it.
you need to remember that Henry banned Rugby League from being played at school when he was a head teacher.....some things will never be forgotten.
 

Tezza91

Warriors Bench Player
Aug 4, 2013
117
Believe me it was worse than that and jokes on TV like league is a second class game for second class citizens. Just look at Peter Williams on TV1 when league gets mentioned.

A real glass half full man. If he can get all the squad to training on time he will be the most successful mentor since Daniel Anderson.

Just have to take your word then mate.

League pretty much is a working class game (I'm not calling anyone second class btw).

Barring NZ and the islands. Union is played mostly by the rich kids. Private schools in Australia and GB, whites in South Africa etc........
 
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jonno

Warriors 1st Grader
Jul 13, 2014
9,803
you need to remember that Henry banned Rugby League from being played at school when he was a head teacher.....some things will never be forgotten.
Maybe some things need to be forgotten? Like the last 4 years missing the finals for a start.

If Henry can help us win more games then I'm all for it. We don't have any other super coaches knocking on our door ATM.
 

Johnnyray

1st Grade Fringe
Oct 11, 2014
2,298
- Again not to bang on about myself but you want to know power Rugby had over schools back then, then here's an indication. I went to Sacred Heart College in Auckland in the mid 1990's and I remember one time they got their former old boy John Kirwan to come in to talk to us and give us all motivational speech about some shit to our class but I was banned from seeing it because I kept threating ask him questions about Auckland Warriors who he was currently with at the time. This is true, apparently back then we all forbidden from even mentioning words rugby league at the school even to somebody who was playing it ! As punishment (and this just shows you how smart these guys were) for threatening to speak to him about rugby league they made me look after him all day in Staff Room and oh man what arrogant motherfucker he was ! I never forgot how I went up to him introduce myself and said something like "Hey John !" and how just snapped at me and said " - You wouldn't call your teachers by their first name, who do you think you are calling me by my first name ? From now I want you address me as Mr Kirwan !" Me, I lost it. I totally lost it after hearing that as it really did get to me that somebody who used to be former All Black could be like that to someone so to get back at him I just spent rest of day calling him 'Special K.' " You want another cup of tea Special K ? " " What about a biscuit Special K ? " "Hey Special K when you done with that sandwich I made you, try some cake ... " Man and I wondered why I was expelled from that school ... ;)
 

Mojo154

NSW Cup Player
Apr 22, 2015
124
Get over it. The All Blacks are better than Queensland and the Roo's by long shot, get real we need all the help we an get, and league is only the national game of PNG
 
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jonno

Warriors 1st Grader
Jul 13, 2014
9,803
Wilson: So you wanna play rugby league, son?
28/09/2014


OPINION: It was the Roller Mills rugby tournament that drew Michael Jones away from rugby league as a 12-year-old.


Later on, more than 20 years ago, he became known as possibly the best All Black loose forward ever.


But, as a youngster, he was as committed to league as he was to rugby - watching his uncles playing for the Waitemata Seagulls at the Ranui Domain, and then catching the eye as a goal-kicking centre for the Te Atatu Roosters.


In those days, his idols were Mark Graham and the Sorensen brothers, Kurt and Dane, as well as rugby's Bryan Williams.


But it was the prestige and the challenge of Roller Mills rugby that was all consuming for him and his intermediate schoolmates.


He was shooting for the Auckland West reps, which he made after a series of trials. And then it was on to Henderson High School.


"Rugby was all we played there," he says.


Of course, Jones isn't the only talented footy player to be drawn away from rugby league to rugby union.


In fact, you can come up with an imposing line-up of All Blacks who served a league apprenticeship early on.


How about this for a league team?


1. Bob Scott, 2. Jonah Lomu, 3. Tana Umaga, 4. Joe Stanley, 5. Bryan Williams, 6. Fred Allen, 7. Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8. Brad Thorn, 9. Piri Weepu, 10. Buck Shelford, 11. Jerome Kaino, 12. Sonny Bill Williams, 13. Michael Jones.


Not a bad harvest, eh?


But there were those who resisted and resented any pressure to make the switch. John Ackland, who now runs the Auckland Rugby League, says Roger Bailey, a great Ponsonby, Auckland and Kiwi centre 50 years ago, was one of those.


Ackland says: "The story goes that he was the leader of the league clique at Seddon High School. He was told he could either play rugby or pick up rubbish. He said: 'Sweet. I'll pick up rubbish.'


"So you had one of the best athletes in New Zealand picking up rubbish in the sports period. Which gives you a clue about the mind-set of some league guys."


Another who wouldn't comply with the establishment was Awen Guttenbeil, who later played 170 games for the Warriors and 10 tests for the Kiwis. He now works in broadcasting.


In the early 1990s, he was a pupil at Kelston Boys' High where the principal, Graham Henry, was on his way to becoming the All Black coach. The school didn't offer rugby league, so Guttenbeil played for the Pt Chevalier club with his mate Stacey Jones. Principal Henry thought Guttenbeil had 1st XV potential and hinted that there could be consequences if he didn't play rugby.


Guttenbeil, however, wanted to pursue a league career - and, anyway, he felt he was already doing his bit for the school.


"I was in the top academic stream," he says. "I represented the school at swimming, athletics, basketball and touch. But I was left with the impression that, unless I played rugby, I wouldn't be a prefect in my 7th form year."


Things became tense, so Guttenbeil sought help from someone with a fearsome reputation as a negotiator. That was his mum.


"She went down to the school and told Graham that I was a league player and that he should back off."


The visit had the desired effect. Henry did back off and, shortly after, Guttenbeil signed with the Manly Sea Eagles in the NRL - which meant he wasn't at Kelston for the 7th form anyway.


Guttenbeil says he and his former principal cross paths from time to time.


"Graham still asks how mum is," he says.


Sam Rapira has a less confrontational story. He props for the Warriors in the NRL and for the Kiwis. He grew up playing league for the Hukunui club, but then went to Hamilton Boys' High. He was able to combine the two brands of footy by playing club league on Friday nights and then turning out for the school rugby team on Saturdays.


"I played two years of 1st XV - as a No 8 or blindside - but pretty much got told to choose one sport or the other. I told them I'd play league."


Rapira also helped pull a school league team together.


"But the school didn't like it, because a lot of the 1st XV players were wanting to change codes," he says. "So that didn't go down at all well. It was a good school, but in terms of that side of things, we were shut out."


The Rapira and Guttenbeil reflections don't signal any great animosity towards those who provided obstacles to their league careers.


But Hugh McGahan, a former Kiwi captain, says there's still bitterness in corners of the league community for the way the rugby establishment has treated league through the years.


"I know some people," he says, "who won't even drive down Sandringham Rd because Eden Park is on it."


Other critics are less obsessive about the pains they take to avoid rugby's headquarters. But some don't hold back on their criticism of the status quo.


One of those is Allen McLaughlin, a league commentator on radio for 30 years. He's fed up with people treading too cautiously around the subject of anti-league prejudices. He sees schools that aren't offering rugby league - and then fail to explain why. He also sees administrators working to get the game into schools but not wanting to upset delicate negotiations.


But he's not inclined to be as quiet as they are.


"Many headmasters come from a rugby union background, as do many of the teachers, and they influence whether rugby league is played at schools," he says. "So often we hear that kids want to play rugby league but the headmaster and the teachers knock it back, because they're part of the old boys' network.


"And the old boys are part of that too. They don't want rugby league to be played on the same level as rugby union because it's going to affect their game. So freedom of choice goes out the door.


"It's a crime. In fact it's one of the greatest crimes this country has ever had in terms of sport.


"Rugby union doesn't want another code to challenge them because they have a monopoly on the talent. But if more rugby league in schools means diluting rugby union's status and playing base . . . well . . . tough titty."


If McLaughlin is suggesting that our high schools aren't catering for a great many league players, it's not a figment of his imagination.


The stats on sports participation at school are provided by New Zealand's Secondary Schools Sports Council (NZSSSC). Their 2013 figures don't deliver any surprises about the two most popular. They're netball and rugby. Next are soccer, basketball and volleyball. And, way down the list, at No 18 - just below table tennis - is rugby league with 3500 players.


That's a 49% jump from 2009, so there is progress. But rugby, with only a 1 per cent increase in the same five-year period, still has eight times as many.


Garry Carnachan, the executive director of the NZSSSC, points to the growth of league in recent years. He says it has improved the way it has offered games to fit in with schools.


"The NZRL's national schools tournament is a shining example of this and it offers a lot off the paddock as well as on it.


"Rugby union has a long-standing tradition in schools, and rugby league has to have viable competitions - and that's not just down to the schools.


"But I don't believe there's anything sinister around schools not playing. It's just the way things are. Rugby league has long been a club sport, whereas rugby union has been in schools for 100 years or more."


Tony Iro is another man advocating patience. He is a former Kiwi (25 tests) and a former NRL player (five clubs and almost 250 games). Currently he runs high performance at the NZRL and is about to return to a former role as an assistant coach at the Warriors.


He acknowledges that the game needs to make more inroads in schools, but he sees problems.


"Our difficulties lie where the schools prioritise rugby union," he says. "But we're seeing small shifts in opinions and priorities. I don't believe that things are going to change very quickly, but some schools are now recognising that there are genuine pathways for both games.


"Given the history of rugby union in New Zealand, we have to be prepared to be patient. It's always going to be difficult when 1st XV competitions hold a lot of prestige in the boys' schools.


"I think that if we tried to muscle our way into what is a very strong competition and into a sport that is deep in the psyche of New Zealand, it might be a dangerous time for us."


It's understandable but still disappointing that the staunchly rugby schools aren't inclined to go public with their explanation for offering league a cold shoulder.


Their standard response when they've been asked for a comment has been either to make no comment at all (King's College and St Peter's for example) - or to provide such a brief statement that it doesn't shed much light on the issue.


That's the option taken by St Kentigern which has a reputation for investing heavily in rugby. Its statement as to why it doesn't offer both codes was this: "The college has played rugby since 1953 when it opened."


Hamilton Boys' has been more forthcoming. It has been one of the country's big achievers in schoolboy rugby - sharing the national title this year and also winning the World Rugby Youth Invitational tournament, for the third time, in Japan.


Nigel Hotham, the deputy principal, coaches the 1st XV. The school plays no rugby league.


He says: "As a traditional school where rugby is very important, our programme provides for the development of players in preparation for their pursuit of either code when they complete school.


"Obviously our programme has an extremely strong tie to the excellent local, regional and national rugby competitions we are involved in. Post secondary school, players are then well prepared to choose to play in, and to excel in, either pathway."


Hmmm. Really? A boy is well prepared for a league career by playing rugby all through school?


Hugh McGahan (Westlake Boys'), Mark Rice (St Paul's College) and Ben Hancock (Wesley College) are going about things differently.


Wesley College knows all about rugby success, especially over the last 25 years, when it's won national titles and produced more than its share of All Blacks, including Jonah Lomu, the ultimate rugby superhero.


Hancock is Wesley's director of sport and has coached not only the 1st XV but also, this year, the school's 1st XIII in its first-ever national tournament.


"Schools are in the business of education and providing opportunities," he says. "By limiting opportunities we are not delivering on potential - and it isn't fair to make these choices for students."


There is a much different footy history at St Paul's where Mark Rice is the principal. His school has been a league nursery with Mark Graham, Stacey Jones, Nigel Vagana and Elijah Taylor among old boys.


The school's formula is to allow the boys to choose their code.


"They can play league on Wednesday and union on Saturday," Rice says. "We have 6-8 boys in both the 1st XIII and the 1st XV. We give the students ‘double honours' if they achieve that."


Then there's McGahan who is the director of both codes at Westlake Boys' on Auckland's North Shore. He had a stellar career in rugby league, but he's comfortable with rugby too - and his sons have played both. He says he can't speak for others, "but for us there is no excuse not to have rugby union and rugby league co-existing."


Remember Guttenbeil's frustrations at Kelston back in the Graham Henry days?


Well, that's one of the schools that's comes to terms with co-existence - and, looking back, Guttenbeil can now appreciate why Kelston was reluctant to embrace rugby league then.


"I was frustrated at school because the pathways weren't there. But I can understand why the schools had reservations - partly because the league competitions weren't so reputable. But that's not the case now.


"No one is saying schools should be playing league instead of rugby. It's not one or the other. It's both."




All I can say is, Henry helping coach the Warriors is going to do more to fix this situation than anything else right now...
 

6 Again

1st Grade Fringe
Sep 29, 2015
1,333
you need to remember that Henry banned Rugby League from being played at school when he was a head teacher.....some things will never be forgotten.

I understand ... still if people are angry about that all these years later they probably have bigger issues they need to address than the appointment of Graham Henry.
 
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Miket12

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 20, 2012
10,629
- Again not to bang on about myself but you want to know power Rugby had over schools back then, then here's an indication. I went to Sacred Heart College in Auckland in the mid 1990's and I remember one time they got their former old boy John Kirwan to come in to talk to us and give us all motivational speech about some shit to our class but I was banned from seeing it because I kept threating ask him questions about Auckland Warriors who he was currently with at the time. This is true, apparently back then we all forbidden from even mentioning words rugby league at the school even to somebody who was playing it ! As punishment (and this just shows you how smart these guys were) for threatening to speak to him about rugby league they made me look after him all day in Staff Room and oh man what arrogant motherfucker he was ! I never forgot how I went up to him introduce myself and said something like "Hey John !" and how just snapped at me and said " - You wouldn't call your teachers by their first name, who do you think you are calling me by my first name ? From now I want you address me as Mr Kirwan !" Me, I lost it. I totally lost it after hearing that as it really did get to me that somebody who used to be former All Black could be like that to someone so to get back at him I just spent rest of day calling him 'Special K.' " You want another cup of tea Special K ? " " What about a biscuit Special K ? " "Hey Special K when you done with that sandwich I made you, try some cake ... " Man and I wondered why I was expelled from that school ... ;)
I was only threatened with explosion once - I had the same English teacher three years in a row and, at the start of each year she used the same speech telling us how much she loved poetry and, that by the end of the year, we would love poetry just as much. Well, hearing the speech for the third year in a row, I decided to interrupt her and explain to her that I'd had her for the two pervious years, still couldn't stand poetry and most likely still wouldn't by the end of the year. Got sent straight of to the Vice Principal's office, who also happened to be her husband. By the way Mrs Tolm, I still hate poetry!!!!
 

mode81

1st Grade Fringe
Jul 25, 2012
2,999
Great news. Well done Jim Doyle for being pro active and sounding out one of the most successful coaches of the modern era.

Sir Graham has a history of working with Polynesian players.. some of the greatest to ever play the game have been under his watch so I can see a need for his feedback and consultancy here at our club.

Just think of the players from South Auckland low income communities who he coached to greatness.. the likes of Michael Jones, Jonah Lomu, Inga Tuigamala

Henry chose the first Polynesian All Blacks captain Tana Umaga so he knows what makes these island boys tick.. More recently he's coached the likes of Nonu, Kaino, Mealamu.. all greats of the game.

The influence he will have on some of these younger island boys will be immense.. the calmness, explaining things easier for them to understand, growing thicker skins to handle criticism.. a real positive figure for players to engage and learn from

I'm only disappointed they didn't go after Wayne Smith.. it's well known in sporting circles that he's the real mastermind behind the success of the AB's but it's all good Graham's vast amount of knowledge more then makes up for it.
 

Gizzyfan

Warriors 1st Grader
Jan 2, 2013
5,774
The reason Graham Henry regained the AB's coaching was two fold.
1, He demonstrated that he learnt from his mistakes.
2. He had a low turnover of assistants compared to Deans.

He has shown he is a man manager who improved his skills in the area. What is not to like having him aboard.

They used to burn witches, build with asbestos, have no seatbelts. Get over it.
 

Tragic

1st Grade Fringe
Apr 27, 2016
4,672
Kumeu
Hey Graham

How bout bringing over some Rah Rahs from the Blues to help us out. the Ioane brothers and Rene Ranger would be OK for a start plus George Moala maybe.Can you get the butcher to pay them in sausages tho coz we spent all our bucks on some other clowns.

Chur Bruv
 

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