Henry wary of Wallabies & Wales not England

All Blacks coach Graham Henry says that he is concerned about the upcoming match against the Wallabies so much that he has targeted the match in the knowledge that a victory in Tokyo will set the tone for the rest of their tour.


Henry feels that the All Blacks stiffest opposition on tour will be Australia and then Wales. The tour also includes matches against England and France who the All Blacks lost a series to in June this year.

Inside the All Blacks there has been a coaching reshuffle which has Henry looking after the forwards and he says that he felt an “extra edge” when they started their preparations.

“Because we haven’t had a great year I think that creates an extra edge,” said Henry.

“I think players and coaches and the whole group want to prove themselves, so there was probably a wee bit more tension, and a little bit more focus.”

“Remember we went to Hong Kong last year off the back of winning the Tri-Nations and Bledisloe Cup and felt pretty good.” he told Stuff.

“We were lucky to get through that game and then went on and had a Grand Slam.”

Henry reiterated his belief that the Wallabies, with their captaincy change, and their burning pain from three straight Bledisloe defeats this year, loomed as possibly the stiffest test of this tour that includes matches against England (Nov 21) and France (Nov 28).

“They’re going to be at their best mentally aren’t they for this game.”

“They’ve also made a change of captain, and when you make changes like that it creates a little upward movement on the graph, so I think Rocky (Elsom) will be good.

“It means senior players overlooked for those senior roles want to prove themselves.”

“And its 3-0 so they’ll be at the peak of their powers mentally, and we’ve got to handle that.

“I think if we can set that foundation for the first game you get the momentum going.”

“The Welsh game second up and the Australia game, I think, are critical as to how we go on this tour.”

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