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Wednesday, 6 February, 2002, 20:53 GMT
Henry walks away from Wales
Graham Henry in pensive mood at Lansdowne Road on Saturday
Henry no longer believed he was the man for the job
Graham Henry's reign as Wales coach came to an end when the New Zealander resigned by mutual consent.

His position had been under threat ever since his side's humiliating 54-10 defeat against Ireland at Lansdowne Road on Sunday.

A host of former Welsh internationals had been calling for Henry to resign since the record-breaking Six Nations loss to the Irish.

Coaches earning 250,000 a year have to hold their hands up
Gareth Edwards

A statement from the Wales Rugby Union said: "After a meeting between Graham Henry and senior officers of the union, it has been agreed by both parties that Graham will leave his position this week.

"Both sides have thought deeply about this decision and believe it has been taken with the best interests of Welsh rugby in mind."

Henry, dubbed the Great Redeemer after leading Wales to 10 straight victories early in his career, had been in charge since August 1998.

The WRU lured him to Wales with a five-year contract reputed to be worth 235,000 a year.

His notable achievements include masterminding Wales' first and only win over South Africa and two consecutive away wins in Paris.

He also guided them to a memorable win over England at Wembley to deny them the Grand Slam, and a Test series win in Argentina.

Edwards said the high-earning Henry had to hold his hands up
Edwards passed some of the blame on to players
But former Welsh captain Gareth Edwards told BBC Radio that someone had to be accountable for Wales' poor recent run of results.

He said: "You have got to blame the players for a start but, when you've got huge investment in top-end coaches and players, coaches earning 250,000 a year have to hold their hands up."

Committee chairman Glanmor Griffiths added: "The WRU general committee would like to thank Graham Henry for his contribution to Welsh rugby."

Griffiths will host a press conference at 1200 GMT on Thursday to discuss Henry's departure and the future of Welsh rugby.

Kiwi Steve Hansen, the recently appointed Wales forwards coach, will to take charge for the remainder of the Six Nations.

Among the other front-runners to succeed Henry are Wales A coach Mike Ruddock, Llanelli coach Gareth Jenkins and Phil Davies, the director of rugby at Zurich Premiership side Leeds Tykes.

BBC Sport's Jeff Collins
"Henry became an instant hero in Wales."
Former Wales coach Alan Davies
"It would be great to see Gareth Jenkins in"
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