May 24, 2013
World Cup winner Henry to advise Argentina's Pumas
New Zealand's World Cup-winning coach Graham Henry will help fine tune the Pumas for their Rugby Championship debut season, the Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) said.
The UAR said it had signed Henry, whose All Blacks won New Zealand's second World Cup last year, as a consultant with a particular view to improve coaching at Argentina's high performance centres.
"We must copy the good things (in world rugby). The UAR must continue to train its coaches so they get better and better to face our commitments," UAR president Luis Castillo told a news conference.
Argentina face New Zealand, Australia and South Africa in the new four-nation Rugby Championship, their first ever top level annual competition, between Aug. 18 xx and Oct. 6.
"(Henry's) task will be to give his technical advice. He likes Argentina, the feeling of Argentine players (for the game) and he'll help players take a leap in quality," said Manuel Galindo, head of the UAR's high performance rugby sub-committee.
"He's going to work with the trainers, doing coaching."
Galindo said Argentina sought three key changes to the way the Pumas were run, first signing up the entire coaching staff full time.
Argentina, whose professional players have so far only played abroad mainly in Europe, have also given contracts to a number of home-based players.
"The third big step we had to take was to get a person who could shorten the distance (with our rivals) in the tournament we are going to take part in," Galindo said.
"We chose a coach who best knows them," he said, referring to the three major southern hemisphere rugby nations.
"We set ourselves the dream of getting the best or one of the best coaches in the world. We've been talking for three months and (the deal) was signed on Sunday night.