Former All Blacks coach Sir Graham Henry will continue to assist the Pumas in the 2013 Rugby Championship, the UAR confirmed.
Former All Blacks coach Sir Graham Henry will continue to assist the Pumas in the 2013 Rugby Championship, the Argentina Rugby Union (UAR) have confirmed.
The World Cup-winning coach's influence was clearly visible during his first stint as a consultant to head coach Santiago Phelan when the Pumas made a very credible debut in the southern hemisphere tournament last year.
“Having been a very competitive team in the 2013 Rugby Championship, this new edition of the tournament will be an even greater challenge for Argentina,” Henry said in a statement released by the UAR.
“The Springboks, All Blacks and Wallabies will surely be stronger teams than last year but without doubt it will be a positive challenge, you only improve facing the best.”
Argentina finished bottom of the 2012 standings but claimed an historic draw against South Africa in Mendoza and lost their matches against Australia by four and six points as their much-improved attack complemented their famous physical approach.
“It's an honour …(for) the UAR to be able to count on the assistance of such an experienced and important person in the rugby world as Graham Henry,” Manuel Galindo, head of the UAR's high performance department, told a news conference.
This year's championship could be Phelan's last as Pumas coach, a position he has held since Marcelo Loffreda quit after steering Argentina to third place at the 2007 World Cup in France.
“Tati (Phelan) has the doors open to continue but whether he does or not is a personal issue,” said UAR president Luis Castillo, after Phelan mentioned possibly stepping down for family reasons after the Rugby Championship.
“My opinion and that of the directors is that Tati and his staff should stay on.”
Argentina open their Rugby Championship campaign away to the Springboks on August 17.
The Pumas host also three Tests in the June international window, two against England and one against Georgia.