Henry turns again

New Zealand coach Graham Henry has made another u-turn on the controversial subject of his infamous pre-World Cup conditioning programme. [more]

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New Zealand coach Graham Henry has made another u-turn on the controversial subject of his infamous pre-World Cup conditioning programme.

On his re-appointment to the role last week, Henry admitted the idea of resting 22 top players during last year’s Super 14 and choosing a month of physical work instead of friendlies before the World Cup "was a mistake".

However, Henry has now clarified his position again, blaming the timing of the initiative, rather than the concept itself.

"Pre-season fitness to get ready for a season of rugby is what we’re talking about here," he told Radio Sport.

"That is not a mistake – that is essential for players to play top rugby.

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"Everybody in New Zealand gets that opportunity apart from the All Blacks because of their programme. We admit that it was a mistake having it during the Super 14 because it caused so much disruption.

"But I think everybody would agree there needs to be a pre-season for professional sports people."

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