'Ted' touches down in Palmerston North

Rugby hero meets fans

ROBERT JOHNSON
Last updated 06:19 17/10/2012
Graham Henry book signing
MURRAY WILSON/FAIRFAX NZ
Sir signing: Graham Henry during his book signing in Palmerston North.

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Fishing rods, hooks and massive kingfish are what the future holds for Sir Graham Henry.

The former All Blacks coach and Rugby World Cup winner was in Palmerston North yesterday as part of a nationwide signing tour for his biography, The Final Word.

People were lining up outside Paper Plus on The Square from 11.30am, an hour before Sir Graham was due to arrive.

First in line was Monyeen McPhail – excited to meet the man behind the All Blacks’ World Cup success.

‘‘I have a friend in South Africa who I bought the book for, so I’m getting that signed to send to him.’’

Veronica Griffiths was second in line and had nothing but praise for Sir Graham.

‘‘He’s a great coach, the best coach ever. We have a great All Blacks side and he’s responsible for that.’’

Not only was Sir Graham signing books, flags, balls and T-shirts, he also took some time to have a chat with fans.

He said writing the book was a challenge, but the feedback had been fantastic.

‘‘It’s tough, you’re never 100 per cent sure you’ve hit the button, but it seems we did. I didn’t want to shy away from the issues. I wanted to tell things like I saw them.

‘‘It’s very satisfying to hear how much people enjoyed reading it.’’

Sir Graham now joins the staff of Auckland Blues coach John Kirwan ahead of the Super 15 rugby season and is looking forward to his advisory role there.

‘‘I’ll be more like a mentor for John, helping him out as he hasn’t coached a Super Rugby side before and he’s just got back into the country.’’

He plans to change his profession from rugby coach to fisherman in the next five years.

‘‘With the hype from the World Cup long gone by then, I should have some more time to spend with family and go fishing.’’

Sir Graham plans to take a world trip next year with his wife, Raewyn, after a hectic 2012.

With more than 40,000 copies sold, The Final Word is being re-printed.

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- Manawatu Standard

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