Henry Guilty of Ill-Timed Claims; on Rugby CONTROVERSY: WRU Reviews Policy on Management and Players Writing Columns

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), October 10, 2001 | Go to article overview

Henry Guilty of Ill-Timed Claims; on Rugby CONTROVERSY: WRU Reviews Policy on Management and Players Writing Columns


Byline: ANDY HOWELL

TRUST Graham Henry. He accuses Matt Dawson and Austin Healey of "betraying their mates for 30 pieces of silver" during the British Lions tour of Australia and goes and does the very same himself.

Quite extra-ordinarily he questioned the attitude of key forward Colin Charvis only five days before Wales's Six Nations championship clash with Ireland in Cardiff.

Henry said, "He could be extremely good, but there were signs of the same variables in concentration and attitude he has shown with Wales."

It is hardly a great incentive for Charvis to perform, having dirty linen aired in public.

And the Wales coach has also expressed concern at the fitness of prop Darren Morris, who like Charvis, was among Wales's 11 Lions this summer.

Henry accused Swansea star Morris, who was not considered for Saturday's rearranged Test because of injury, of being a stone overweight, adding, "He just has to get faster."

Where did the New Zealander make these ill-timed claims? In his book Henry's Pride. Extracts were published in the London newspaper for which he writes a weekly column.

It smacks of double standards. The Lions management, Henry included, did not like players having media deals during the tour of Australia.

But Henry hardly set an example.

He could have pulled the plug on his long-term deal and urged members of the squad to do the same. He did not.

And it is a bit rich of Henry to defend the publication of extracts from his book on the grounds that the majority of his assessments of Wales's 11 Lions were "positive" when he admits being furious with English pair Dawson and Healey.

Both were fined for articles they wrote during the summer tour.

Dawson criticised the management on the eve of the first Test and Healey nearly everything Australian the day before the deciding third.

A line has been peddled that Healey's description of Justin Harrison as a plod and an ape inspired the debut-making Australia lock to have the game of his life and be the difference between the Lions winning and losing the series.

That could not be further from the truth. Harrison had been the best forward the Lions had faced in two previous encounters, the defeat against Australia A and the wonderful clash with ACT Brumbies when "villains" Healey and Dawson won the game for the tourists with the very last play, and maintained that consistency. …

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