Tana Umaga rugby player
Tana Umaga rugby player

Tana Umaga

27th May 1973 1.88m/102kg Coach

Tana Umaga is an ex-New Zealand and Hurricanes centre and wing, who was known for his physicality and try scoring ability. Umaga represented the junior Kiwi side in 1991 and earned his call-up to the Hurricanes squad after out scoring all of his teammates in the Wellington Lions team for three consecutive seasons.

In his second season with the Hurricanes Umaga set a then record, 12, for the most tries in one season by a New Zealander. In the same season he earned his maiden call up to the New Zealand nation team, after Jonah Lomu was ruled out through illness.

Due to a drop in form and the return of Jonah Lomu, Umaga was dropped from the All Black side. In 2000 with new coach Wayne Smith, Tana became a regular wing for the All Blacks and the following year he would shift his focus to becoming a centre.

Umaga become a crucial part of the All Black's team and captained the side in 2004 and 2005. He flourished in the centre role and was a nominated for the IRB Player of the Year award in 2005, which was won by Dan Carter.

In January 2006 Umaga announced his retirement from international rugby having played 74 Test for the All Black scoring 36 tries, Richie McCaw succeeded him as captain.

Late in 2006 Umaga joined Toulon where he would play 8 games winning all 8. He returned to New Zealand in January 2007 where he would play his last match for the Hurricanes before retiring. He returned to play Super Rugby for the Chiefs in 2011 before officially retiring as a player.

Umaga started his coaching career in 2008 at Toulon, a post that only lasted for one season. In 2010 he was Assistant Coach for Counties Manukau and later took over as Head Coach in 2012. He would continue as the Counties Manukau coach until 2015, when he was the Assistant Coach of the New Zealand U20. In 2016 he was took over the Head Coach position from Sir John Kirwin, following his resignation.

He took over the Blues as head coach for the 2016 Super Rugby season. In May 2018, Umaga's contract was extended by a further 12 months to the end of the 2019 Super Rugby season.

He then stepped into the defence coaching role for a two-year deal in 2019 before his contract was extended in September 2020 until the end of the 2021 Super Rugby season.

(LS September 2, 2020)

Career

auckland-blues Blues
Coach
2016 - present
photo New Zealand
Inside Centre
1997 - 2005
toulon_rugby_logo RC Toulon
Inside Centre
2005 - 2006
hurricanes Hurricanes
Inside Centre
1996 - 2007
504247-243324-14 Wellington
Inside Centre
1994 - 2007
counties Counties Manukau
Inside Centre
2010 - 2010
chiefs Chiefs
Inside Centre
2011 - 2011
nz New Zealand U20's
Coach
2015 - 2015