Graham Henry is the golden boy of rugby coaches but it was on this day in rugby history in 2002 that the New Zealander stepped down from his head coaching position of Wales. The announcement ended a successful yet controversial era for Welsh Rugby.
“Both sides have thought deeply about this decision and believe it has been taken in the best interests of Welsh rugby.' Glanmore Griffiths, WRU chairman said. “I would like to thank Graham for his contribution to Welsh rugby.”
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“Since his appointment as our national coach we would like to thank him for his work and wish both him and his family all the best in the future.”
The announcement came after a record breaking 54-10 loss to Ireland in Dublin. It was not all bad, however, as Henry led the Dragons on a record 11 match winning stretch during his tenure and had fans believing anything he touched turned to gold. They were so pleased with him that they called him the ‘great redeemer’ and overlooked his annual £250,000, unheard of at the time.
His early success with Wales also got him the job as British and Irish Lions head coach for the unsuccessful 2001 tour of Australia. He was the first Lions coach from outside of the Home Nations.
1945 - Gerald Davies, Welsh rugby player