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Henry wants extension until 2011 World Cup

ALL Blacks coach Graham Henry has confirmed he wants to continue in the job past this year.

Henry was appointed on a two-year contract after the 2007 World Cup and had earlier refused to indicate whether he would seek to continue in the job beyond its expiration.

However yesterday, Henry said he would be keen to stay on.

"Yes, I'd like to," he said, when asked whether he hoped to coach the All Blacks again next year.

If reappointed it is highly likely the 62-year-old would take the team through to the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand, ensuring he would be the first coach to lead the All Blacks at two of rugby's showcase tournaments.

Following a highly successful four-year tenure, the All Blacks were upset in the quarterfinals of the 2007 World Cup by France and few expected Henry to be reappointed after the New Zealand Rugby Union opened the job up to applications.

Henry, however, was reappointed on a two-year contract, beating then Canterbury Crusaders coach Robbie Deans for the job. Deans was named Australia's new national coach a week later. When re-appointed in 2007 it was widely expected Henry would hand over the coaching role to his assistant Steve Hansen at the end of the contract.

Henry said he did not know if he would merely get a contract extension or the NZRU would make it a contestable process again.

"It's not my decision," he said. "I'd like to continue, but that's other people's decisions. Let's wait and see.

"I'm sure the (NZRU) have given it some thought, but it's early days, isn't it? I guess those things take a wee bit of time to get through the system."

Meanwhile, Henry said All Blacks flyhalf Daniel Carter will not be rushed back into action over fears that a recurrence of an Achilles' tendon injury could end his career.

Carter ruptured his Achilles playing for French club Perpignan in February and was expected to be out for up to six months.

Henry said All Blacks medical staff had been monitoring Carter's rehabilitation in France.


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