SIR GRAHAM Henry is helping under-fire Blues coach Pat Lam deal with external pressure, rather than the coaching side of things.
Lam, whose star-studded side sits at the bottom of the New Zealand conference with a one-win, six-loss record, revealed what sort of assistance the former All Blacks mentor has played so far when he fronted media yesterday.
Henry’s new job with the NZRU sees him available to all Super Rugby and provincial coaches.
Lam says Henry is a busy man because of that and would have to be with the Blues day-in, day-out to assist with game plans and tactics.
Instead he had offered Lam an insight to the struggles he had faced as a coach, particularly during his time guiding Wales and the British Lions and the public outcry following the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
“There is rugby tactics, coaching and dealing with what we are going through and that is where Henry is a great sounding board for external pressure and confidence,” says Lam.
“I think all coaches know their stuff, but it's [the] going through when your confidence is down and you are dealing with external pressures. That's the thing that he offers.
“He told me to focus on what you can do. He talked about ‘the noise’. What I'm going through is obviously nothing compared to what he went through in 2007.
“So there was a lot of encouragement. But before he even spoke I had taken inspiration from what he did and what he has been through.”
Lam confirmed the Blues will be without skipper Keven Mealamu for this Friday’s clash against the Highlanders and possibly the match against the Reds the following week due to a calf injury. Mealamu has battled that ailment for much of the season.
The Blues name their team on Wednesday.« Back to Articles
With the series level, expect both teams to put it all on the line as they seek to win the deciding test in Sydney on Saturday night.