Henry confirmed as NRL assistant coach
Saturday 3 November 2012 9:48 PM
Vodafone Warriors head coach Matthew Elliott today confirmed current New Zealand Under-18 and Vulcans coach Ricky Henry as one of his two assistants for the 2013 season.
Henry (34), one of the country’s most promising young coaches, has benefited from a pathway which has landed him a series of coaching positions at club and representative level since ending his playing career.
After being involved in the Vodafone Warriors’ development system from 2008-2011 – the last two and a half years as the club’s development coach – Henry took over as Vulcans coach in the New South Wales Cup in February this year.
While wasn’t expecting to graduate to the NRL at this stage he said he was prepared for the task as the Vodafone Warriors eye day one of their off-season training programme tomorrow.
“It’s a huge honour and thrill for me to be given this opportunity by the club,” he said.
“The Vodafone Warriors gave me my big break in the first place with the development squad and to now have a role working with Matt and the NRL side is everything I could want.
“I’ve been fortunate to benefit from coaching the Vulcans and also the New Zealand Under-18s, roles which allowed me to remain in contact with a lot of Vodafone Warriors players. There are also a lot of other players still with us who came through the development programme when I was involved.
“Now I want to do all I can to support Matt, to develop as a coach and to make a difference as we all work together to make our club the best it can be.”
Elliott said Henry made an instant impact on him.
“The first time I met Ricky was to discuss the Vulcans and his role with the team,” he said.
“The way he connected purely on a personal level was so impressive from the outset but he also came across powerfully with his skill set in both rugby league and professional terms.
“I instantly saw him as being a key part of our NRL coaching staff and the club’s vision.”
Vodafone Warriors general manager football operations Dean Bell said Henry’s rise to the NRL coaching staff underlined the value of the pathways in place for coaches in New Zealand.
“When Ricky left to take on his job with the Vulcans, it was a vital stage of his development,” he said.
“We’ve always seen a future for him at the Vodafone Warriors.”
Henry began his coaching education with Richmond, taking the club to success in the Auckland competition before being appointed by the Vodafone Warriors in his development capacity. In 2011 and 2012 he coached the New Zealand Under-18s, sharing a two-match international series with the vaunted Australian Schoolboys last year and winning both matches on a short Australian tour last month.
The Manurewa Marlins junior, a big centre in his playing days, had a stint with the Auckland Warriors at reserve grade level in the club’s early years while he was in South Sydney’s NRL squad in 1999 before the club dropped out of the competition for the 2000 and 2001 seasons.
At club level in New Zealand he was with the Christchurch Shiners in the Lion Red club in the mid-1990s and also had spells with the Glenora Bears, the Northcote Tigers and Marist Richmond Brothers in the now-defunct Bartercard Cup. He also played for the Junior Kiwis, New Zealand Residents and New Zealand Maori.
Born: August 8, 1978
Birthplace: Hastings, New Zealand
Vulcans coach (New South Wales Cup), 2012
New Zealand Under-18 coach, 2011-2012
Vodafone Warriors development coach, 2010-2012
Vodafone Warriors assistant development coach, 2008-2010
Richmond Rovers coach, 2006-2007
Junior Club: Manurewa Marlins
Other clubs: Christchurch Shiners, Glenora Bears, Northcote Tigers, Marist-Richmond Brothers
NRL Clubs: Auckland Warriors, South Sydney Rabbitohs
Representative: Junior Kiwis, New Zealand A, New Zealand Residents, New Zealand Maori
Educated: De La Salle College (Auckland)AA