A fuming Sir Graham Henry said he had called in his lawyer after his comments at a rugby club function were printed in the press.
The former All Blacks coach was quoted from a fundraising dinner in Napier on Thursday night, stating he would have left the country if the All Blacks had lost the Rugby World Cup final to France.
"I would have been in the south of France smoking marijuana and drinking red wine," he apparently said. "I would still have the same woman ... nobody else would have me."
Asked about his comments yesterday, Henry was furious: "It shouldn't be in the paper. It was done as a fundraiser for Hawke's Bay Rugby."
An Evening with Sir Graham Henry was a $120 per head dinner at the East Pier on the Napier waterfront raising funds for the Hawke's Bay's rugby development programme.
Henry said he'd had an arrangement with the event organisers that there would be no media coverage.
"I said at the time it wasn't for publication and I don't know how it got into the papers. I asked the people running it that there be no reporters."
Henry said his comments were intended for the private audience and were not at all serious. "They were said in jest and in fun."
Henry has been a regular at speaking engagements around the country since standing down as All Blacks coach and has shown a wry wit seldom seen during his time at the helm of New Zealand's rugby aspirations.
However, he was no longer amused: "I've now put it in the hands of my solicitor."
Hawke's Bay Rugby chief executive Mike Bishop said he was extremely disappointed to hear Henry's comments had been repeated outside of the "private function".
"If Sir Graham wishes to take legal action over this then we would fully support him."
Hawke's Bay Today editor Anthony Phillips said a sports reporter from the newspaper prepared the article after attending the event.
"I don't believe there was any directive either way - to report from it or not to," he said.