Halberg top honour for Graham Henry

Sir Graham Henry wins the SKY Sport Coach of the Year at the 2011 Westpac Halberg Awards, held at the SKYCITY Convention Centre, Auckland. Photo / Richard Robinson.
Sir Graham Henry wins the SKY Sport Coach of the Year at the 2011 Westpac Halberg Awards, held at the SKYCITY Convention Centre, Auckland. Photo / Richard Robinson.

World Cup winner Sir Graham Henry has been named coach of the year at tonight's Halberg Awards in Auckland.

Henry was honoured after finishing his All Blacks tenure as one of the most successful rugby coaches of all time, with a record of 88 wins in 103 tests.

As well as winning the Webb Ellis Cup last year, the All Blacks have held the Bledisloe Cup since 2003, won the Tri Nations five times and achieved three Grand Slams against northern hemisphere unions under his guidance.

"I feel very proud and privileged - and relieved to be here. I had a lot of special people behind me, helping me. It's good to be able to say we are world champs,'' Henry said.

He got the award ahead of Sevens coach Gordon Tietjens, rowing coach Dick Tonks and women's team pursuit cycling coach Dayle Cheatley.

Earlier shotput sensation Jacko Gill won the emerging talent award for athletes under 21 who are yet to achieve international success at elite level.

The 17-year-old got the nod ahead of Warriors star Shaun Johnson, world junior laser yachting champion Sam Meech and Byron Wells, who was fifth in the halfpipe at the freestyle world senior ski champs.

Gill said he was absolutely over the moon with his award.

"I couldn't be happier."

More awards will be given later tonight.

- APNZ

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