Sir Brian Lochore has stepped down from his role as the All Blacks rugby selector. Former All Blacks great Lochore, 67, was employed up until this year's World Cup and said he was never likely to go on any further in the role.
"I was there to assist them, having a bit of World Cup experience I suppose," Lochore told Radio Sport. "It's an appropriate time to end my involvement."
Henry and his assistant coaches Steve Hansen and Wayne Smith will remain as the All Blacks' three selectors.
The only man to coach a victorious New Zealand World Cup team -- in 1987 -- Lochore agreed with last week's reinstatement of Henry for another two years despite the All Blacks' quarterfinal exit two months ago.
He couldn't fault Henry's coaching, believing the players were physically and mentally primed for the game against France in Cardiff. The criticism of the team since the tournament had been grossly unfair in his eyes.
"Some of the stuff I've heard and read, I've been very disappointed with. It hasn't been very well researched," Lochore said. "Having been in the team, I had a fair idea of what we were trying to do and how fit we were prior to that game, physically and mentally. There were a lot of issues in that game that caused us to be beaten by a very fine margin."
A lack of a hard game in pool play was singled out by Lochore as one intangible that counted against the All Blacks. The positives from the last four years under Henry was the quality and successful nature of the rugby players, Lochore said.
"A lot of the stuff we did was first class," he said. "It's always very disappointing when you spend a lot of time and energy and don't get the goal that you set out to do."
Lochore played 68 games for New Zelaand at lock and No 8 between 1963 and 1981 and was captain 46 times.
Rugby has changed over the past 40 years, it will keep changing but people like Sir Lochore are here to remind us that it may have changed ON the field, but won't change OFF the field : R.E.S.P.E.C.T. is the basics of rugby --may the media & other critics hear our request.
Enjoy your retire Sir Lochore, at your farm, with your family! The NZRU already misses you -& so do I...