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Wednesday 28 September 2016

Cullen reportedly pushed for Henry approach in April

Leinster boss Leo Cullen
Leinster boss Leo Cullen

It has been reported that Leo Cullen approached the Leinster Professional Games Board as far back as April with a proposal to employ Graham Henry as a coaching consultant.

Apparently, the PGB gave their approval for the groundwork to be done on enticing the 2011 New Zealand World Cup-winning coach to come to Leinster.

Since then, it has been claimed that Henry will travel to Dublin for two weeks in August to make known his findings from an extensive review of last season.

Despite casting their network far and wide, Leinster could not come up with a candidate of suitable experience to succeed Matt O'Connor.

It has long been suggested Cullen took the post of head coach because it was simply too good to turn down.

It was a decision in which the heart ruled the head.

The year spent as forwards coach under O'Connor in 2014/2015 was a long way short of the experience the former Leinster captain encountered in the Pro12 final against Connacht's New Zealand trio Pat Lam, Andre Bell and Dave Ellis.

To make matters worse, Cullen's coaching team was completed by backs coach Girvan Dempsey and scrum coach John Fogarty, both in their first senior roles.

It was surely no co-incidence that the basis for their first-seed finish at the conclusion of the Pro12 regular season was founded on Kurt McQuilkin's extensive experience as a defence coach.

That could not be sustained against Connacht when Leinster were outplayed by an inferior squad of players.

Cullen has taken the pro-active approach to fast-track their knowledge by winning the assistance of Henry.

It is not clear whether the decorated Kiwi would consider extending his time at the province.

There was no one available for comment yesterday at Leinster Rugby.

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