There is no false modesty from Sir Graham Henry when he says he genuinely thought he would never be inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame.

The honour will be bestowed on the 2011 World Cup-winning All Black coach along with five other inductees including Richie McCaw on November 3 - the day following the Rugby World Cup final.

But Henry is coy about why he never thought he'd get there.

"Oh, I feel very humbled by it and to join a very elite group of people. So you get humbled by that recognition quite frankly," Henry told the Weekend Herald.


"I'm very proud that that has happened, I didn't think it would but there we are. I don't think we should go into the details. We won't go there.

"Young McCaw's in it and old Ted, and Peter Fatialofa who captained Samoa who I had a lot of time for and who's no longer with us.

"We [McCaw] went through some time together, eight years, so it'll be good to meet up with him on the stage at the Rugby Hall of Fame awards night. It'll be a great night."

Sitting in their new apartment in Auckland's Wynyard Quarter - in Willis Bond's new 132 Halsey build - overlooking the Viaduct Marina, Henry and his wife Raewyn are preparing to fly out to Tokyo tomorrow for the 2019 event.

Former All Blacks coach Sir Graham Henry's new home is on the Auckland waterfront. File Photo / New Zealand Herald
Former All Blacks coach Sir Graham Henry's new home is on the Auckland waterfront. File Photo / New Zealand Herald
All Blacks loose forward Luke Jacobson will miss the Rugby World Cup in Japan, after suffering a delayed onset of concussion.

And while Henry is no longer at the helm of the All Blacks, his schedule for the World Cup this time around is by no means light.

Henry will be sideline commentating for TVNZ and Spark on the opening game of the tournament between Japan and Russia, and the All Blacks' opening game against South Africa.

"We're there for opening weekend as guests of World Rugby which is very nice, and I'm doing some television work for TVNZ and Spark," Henry said.

"I'm on the sideline, I've never done it before, I've actually avoided it.


"But I think I'm old enough now and have had some distance away from being the All Black coach, which I think is important. So I'm looking forward to it. I'm on the sideline."

Henry insists he would resist any urge to offer tips up to his old deputy, Steve Hansen.

"I think he'll probably be ignoring me, shouting tips to Steve. No but I think they've got it well sorted. They might ignore me, but you probably get a pretty good view.

"I'm thinking of taking my gear just in case I get a call-up. Not on the ground but not far to go so I could probably last 15-20 seconds."

Henry will also be working with the Canadian team briefly while at the tournament, after being asked by coach Kingsley Jones.

"I'm flying Sunday morning and I'm helping the Canadians very briefly," he revealed.

"I know the coach Kingsley Jones well and I have spent a few days with them prior in Fiji, so hopefully I can be a little bit of help. It's a very short time, but they're good boys I've enjoyed their company."

Henry's appreciation for national New Zealand sporting teams has also been incorporated into his Wynard Quarter apartment which is just down the road from Team NZ's America's Cup Base.

"We rented two apartments, one across the road here and one in Hobson St while we were waiting for this and we got used to apartment living," Henry said of his new pad in 132 Halsey.

"It's easy, it's an easy lifestyle, no gardens, no pools to clean. And we're close to the ferry. So we can relax here. And I can park my kayak in the marina here.

"We've always watched the America's Cup and we're very supportive for the boys, and it's right on our back door step.

"Their headquarters are 50 metres away, so we can go and have a pinot noir with them, or maybe even a Steinlager Pure with [Grant] Dalton and his men, who knows. So it's fabulous."

But when it comes to the prospect of the All Blacks winning a third tournament in a row, Henry has full appreciation for the magnitude of such a feat.

Richie McCaw and Sir Graham Henry after the All Blacks exit at the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Photo / Getty Images
Richie McCaw and Sir Graham Henry after the All Blacks exit at the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Photo / Getty Images

"Well winning one's special right. Winning two [in a row] has never been done before. To win three in a row would be pretty spectacular and great for the country," he said.

"But Steve Hansen and the team it's a really special occasion and they'll remember that for the rest of their lives, but for the country, it just lifts the country.

"And this is a little country and it needs a lift every now and again."