Grand Slam excites Henry

Former British & Irish Lions and Wales coach Graham Henry is looking for his New Zealand side to make history with a third European grand slam by beating Wales at the weekend. [more]

Grand Slam excites Henry

Former British & Irish Lions and Wales coach Graham Henry is looking for his New Zealand side to make history with a third European grand slam by beating Wales at the weekend.

Henry who led Britain and Ireland’s elite to Australia in 2001 and was in charge in Wales from 1998-2002 is full of praise for his previous side but is aiming for his third slam in just five years.

“We want to make a statement at the end of tour,” said Henry.

“We want to finish on a high with a good performance and the team get the chance to create their own piece of history with a grand slam.

“Wales have been playing really well and they always raise their game against the All Blacks.

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“They are a good side and four out of the tight five are first choice for the British & Irish Lions as well as their half-backs.

“Wales should have beaten South Africa, but a bad ten minutes cost them the game.

“I have had some good times coaching in Europe, I have fond memories and I am proud of what I achieved up here.”

Henry has named a starting XV which features five changes from the side that beat Ireland 38-18 last weekend.

Keven Mealamu returns for the Tri-Nations champions from his two-match suspension, while Brad Thorn returns from injury and will win his 50th cap at the Millennium Stadium.

Isaia Toeava, Jimmy Cowan and Sonny Bill Williams all start in a formidable looking line-up.

“The team know they will face a passionate physical Welsh team, playing in front of a sold-out Millennium Stadium, so are under no illusions about the massive job ahead.”

New Zealand team:
Muliaina, Toeava, Smith, Bill Williams, Gear, Carter, Cowan, Woodcock, Mealamu, Franks, Thorn, Whitelock, Kaino, McCaw (Captain), Read.

Replacements: Hore, Afoa, Boric, Braid, Ellis, Donald, Nonu.

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