Henry and All Blacks want icing on the cake

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James Mortimer     23 Oct 2011     Getty Images

Henry said that arguably the lowest point in his coaching career, a 20-18 loss to France, the All Blacks earliest World Cup exit in Cardiff, was something that was hard for his family to take.

"I've got two boys and a daughter and they were all in Cardiff in 2007," he said.

"The beating on the Sunday morning of that group of people was a very emotional time, a very emotional time.

"I've got a lot of friends in Cardiff and we were around at one of our friend's places and we were all together and they had their partners as well. I'm just hoping that we can get together on Sunday night and things might be a wee bit different.

"My mum's still alive, she's 95, and she'll be delighted when it's finished, absolutely delighted because she thinks I'm under pressure.

"And my wife will be rejoicing because when you're close to the people who are doing the job but you're not involved, that's a very difficult situation to be in.

Henry and his All Blacks have compiled an incredible record since 2004.

They have won five Investec Tri Nations championships – including four straight – and have not conceded the Bledisloe Cup. Three Grand Slams have been recorded, and have claimed 87 test wins from 102 matches.

The All Blacks have won 47 of 50 matches at home in this time, and since the two-point loss to France in 2007, have won an incredible 45 from 54 tests.

But Henry said much would come down to the result against France on Sunday.

"It is career-defining, I'm afraid," he said.

"Even though there are a lot of things I am very proud of, this is whether we put the icing on the cake."

The All Blacks coach said to win the World Cup, the one title that has evaded one of the game’s greatest teams, would be validation for a lot of hard work.

"I've been with a lot of these guys for a long time and, although they may be ranked the leading team in the world, they've never been world champions," he said.

"It would be just marvellous to have that title because they've had every other title that's going in rugby apart from this one."