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Henry to join Blues backroom staff

World Cup-winning former New Zealand boss Sir Graham Henry has been confirmed as defensive coach and technical advisor to Blues coach Sir John Kirwan for the 2013 Super 15 season.

Kirwan has announced three assistants will join his backroom staff, with five-time IRB coach of the year Henry joining Mick Byrne and Grant Doorey at Eden Park alongside Kirwan in his first Super Rugby campaign.

Byrne, a former assistant of Kirwan for the Japan national team, will take charge of the forwards and kicking, while Doorey will oversee the Blues' backs and skills coaching.

With his assistants on board, Kirwan will focus solely on the Blues' attacking structures and patterns.

"I'm thrilled with this coaching team. The experience and individual expertise these three men offer is exciting for me as head coach, for the Blues and our supporters," Kirwan said.

This is Henry's first coaching post in New Zealand after eight years as All Black head coach, culminating in victory at last year's Rugby World Cup.

Byrne is currently a skills coach with the All Blacks and Doorey has coached alongside Kirwan previously in Japan and Italy.

"We've got a lot of work ahead of us but I believe the combination of this coaching group puts the Blues in good hands for 2013," Kirwan added.

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