The Blues have admitted that they are actively seeking the services of World Cup-winning coach Graham Henry who is likely to be involved in Super Rugby on a consultancy basis next year.
The former All Blacks mentor is still in talks with the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) over how he will be best deployed but it seems likely that he will be available to provide guidance for provincial and Super Rugby coaches.
Some teams may be wary of involving Henry, who is seen as quite an imposing figure in some quarters, but the Blues have no such qualms about tapping into his vast intellectual property and chief executive Andy Dalton revealed that he has already approached the former Blues boss.
"He's aware of our interest and we'll be talking to him over the next few months to see how that might look," Dalton told Sunday News. "There's no formal offer but we are aware the NZRU is talking to him and we're on the case with that. Graham has got some wonderful experience and skill and we would love to have him involved. We'd certainly be keen to see as much of him as we can."
Henry has expressed interest in involving himself with at least one northern hemisphere club or union, and Dalton is more than aware that the Blues will not be the only side looking to benefit from the 65-year-old's considerable experience.
"I'm sure there'll be a lot of demand for him offshore as well. We need to understand how that structure is going to look," Dalton said.
"I know Graham very well. He's a generous man with his time. It's not something people see a lot of."
Another factor which would make Henry a good fit in Auckland is his close relationship with Blues coach Pat Lam, who he approached to be his assistant coach before he took the All Blacks job in 2003.
"The best thing for New Zealand rugby is for Graham to stay involved," Lam told Sunday News.
"I've had a good relationship with Graham right from my school days. He's been one of the big mentors in my coaching career and also a very good friend. We talk rugby a lot, we share ideas. Nothing has changed, even though he's a world champion," he added.
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