Henry backs Super 12 preparation

New Zealand coach Graham Henry has paid tribute to the skill level in Super 12 rugby, and believes it will provide a vital springboard to victory over the British & Irish Lions this summer. [more]

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New Zealand coach Graham Henry has paid tribute to the skill level in Super 12 rugby, and believes it will provide a vital springboard to victory over the British & Irish Lions this summer.

Henry was in Hamilton on Wednesday to talk to the Waikato Chiefs and watch them train, and he rubbished the continued criticism of Super 12 rugby from northern hemisphere observers.

"I’m quite relaxed about Super 12 rugby," Henry told the Waikato Times.

"I think it’s a marvellous competition and I know the northern hemisphere say it’s nothing but a glorified game of 15-man sevens.

"But I think the things we did on the northern tour last year reflect some of the stuff that happened in Super 12."

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Henry added that the skill levels reached in the dry summer-autumn conditions of Super 12 had been beneficial to the All Blacks, even though most test rugby is played in winter conditions.

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