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Rugby World Cup-winning coach Sir Graham Henry will be a familiar sight around the Vodafone Warriors over the next month providing support for the club’s NRL squad and football department.

Sir Graham, who guided the All Blacks to Rugby World Cup success in 2011, spent time at the club for the first time on Monday in a role he agreed to take up several weeks ago.

“I’ve had an association with Cappy (head coach Andrew McFadden) on a social level for quite a while now. I’ve got a lot of time for him as a coach and I also really enjoy his company,” said Sir Graham.

“We’ve had some healthy discussions about coaching previously and I’m thrilled to have the chance to be able to work with him, to observe the organisation and to provide some feedback.”

McFadden said Sir Graham’s arrival was the result of discussions he’d had with managing director Jim Doyle last year about engaging a mentor.

“I’ve always been open to the idea of having extra support to help me to develop and improve,” said McFadden.

“Jim and I have considered a number of options but it was important to take time to find the person who best fitted the position and was available to help.

“In the end we were really fortunate to be able to secure Sir Graham’s services. It’s a real privilege to have him involved and I know it’s going to be hugely beneficial not only for me personally but for the squad as a whole.”

Especially pleased about the arrangement is Vodafone Warriors ambassador and 19th man Sir Peter Leitch.

“It’s a special thrill having my good friend Sir Graham helping my favourite club,” he said.

“We talked about this the moment Jim and Cappy mentioned the idea of bringing in a mentor. To be fair, you couldn’t find a better bloke for the job.”

Sir Graham will be at Mount Smart Stadium again tomorrow

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The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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