Umaga open to Super Rugby return
September 19, 2010
Tana Umaga is open to a possible Super Rugby return © Getty Images
Former All Blacks skipper Tana Umaga has refused to rule out the possibility of a return to Super Rugby next season.
The 37-year-old is currently player-coach at ITM Cup side Counties Manukau, having returned to New Zealand this year following a successful stint with Top 14 side Toulon.
There he rekindled his playing career in order to help the club stave off relegation and he has helped to inspire a turnaround in fortunes for Counties since his arrival. He played his last game of Super Rugby in 2007, for the Hurricanes.
Whether any New Zealand franchises have room on their roster for Umaga remains to be seen and the 74-cap All Black is remaining philosophical on the subject.
"I haven't counted it out at all," Umaga told Rugby News. "If anything comes, it comes. But if not, that's the way it is."
One person who believes that Umaga would be a prized catch for a Super Rugby side is Counties head coach Milton Haig, who reserved the highest praise for his assistant.
"Sign him up as quick as you can," Haig told stuff.co.nz. "If they want someone who's a cool head with all that experience, a former All Black captain who's played over 300 first-class games and is going to help everyone around him grow, then I couldn't think of anyone better, really.
"He makes good decisions on the park under pressure and he leads people around. If you look at the Super Rugby landscape there are a lot of 20 to 21 year olds. That experience he brings would help any franchise. The detail he sees in the analysis area is incredible. He sees stuff us mere mortals don't. And these days 90% of your work is done off the field."
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year
With just two rounds left in the 2014 championship, the intensity cranks up a notch at Twickenham. Tom Hamilton previews the weekend's action
"I had a perfect record against England as did a few other Welshmen. England always seemed to bring the best out of us." John Taylor on the age-old rivalry
Are the margins between the teams in the Six Nations getting smaller year-on-year? Huw Richards gives some answers