Henry pokes fun at English rugby

by RUGBY.com.au staff

Rugby World Cup-winning All Blacks coach Graham Henry has poked fun at the England rugby team, describing players in tongue-in-cheek comments as "a shambles" who should "self-destruct and start again."

Henry made the comments while replying to a question from an England supporter at a fundraising dinner on Thursday in Auckland.

When contacted later by reporters, the former New Zealand coach said he didn't want his comments published.

But the organiser of the dinner said Henry was an experienced public speaker who knew the media "could be there and would be there."

Henry, who was once linked to the England coaching job, has previously said the English are "world champions at wasting talent."

He told his English questioner on Thursday, again perhaps in jest, that England players are "smarmy" and "the height of arrogance."

But he added that former England manager Martin Johnson is "a good guy."

Earlier this year, Henry threatened legal action after his light-hearted comments at another fundraising event were reported by a provincial newspaper and picked up by other news organisations.