10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
Henry, the former Lions, Wales, and Auckland coach has been appointed for a two-year term.
Speaking about the appointment, Jock Hobbs the NZRU board's chairman said the decision to appoint Henry was unanimous from the nine man panel. "The appointment of Graham Henry comes after a comprehensive and robust process that reflects the critical role of the All Blacks coach. In the board's view Graham Henry is the most qualified person to coach the All Blacks and achieve the very high standards we expect of them."
Henry, 57, didn't feel his age counted against him. In fact, he believed it was a "huge advantage". "My experience I think was a key factor. I have been dreaming about getting this job for 30 years, so I've been trying to plan and get myself right for it."
As it turned out, Henry had just one contender to face for the position, Mitchell, and it was always felt that Mitchell's failure at RWC 2003 left him with little or no chance of retaining his position.
The board that elected Henry consisted of chairman Jock Hobbs, Ivan Haines, Warwick Syers, Graham Mourie, Mike Eagle, Mark Peters, Paul Quinn, John Lindsay and Gavin Walker.