Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Breaking! It’s official: TANA UMAGA announces retirement

January 10, 2006

The New Zealand Herald reports:

Umaga confirms retirement

10.01.06 1.10pm

All Blacks captain Tana Umaga this afternoon confirmed his retirement from test rugby.

The 74-test veteran said he would continue playing in the Super 14 competition for the Hurricanes.

Umaga's plan to retire was revealed by the New Zealand Herald last November. British newspapers and websites earlier this week reported there was strong interest in him from English clubs Harlequins and Leicester.

Umaga, 32, leaves the All Blacks following one of their most successful seasons which included a series win against the Lions, Bledisloe Cup and Tri-Nations victories and the more recent Grand Slam win. The All Blacks won 11 of 12 tests and have been chosen as Halberg sports team of the year finalists.

Umaga has personally gained a string of achievements during his rugby career including everything from equal-highest number of tries in a season for New Zealand players in a Super 12 season, to player of the year and the awarding of an international fair play trophy.

He was the first New Zealander to win the Pierre de Coubertin Trophy after attending to Welsh player Colin Charvis when he was knocked out during a test in Hamilton.

In 2004 Umaga became the first Samoan New Zealander to captain the All Blacks in a test, and in 2005 brought up 100 Super 12 caps with the Hurricanes.

He started his representative rugby career with the Wellington NPC side in 1994 and had before that played rugby league, including a stint for the New Zealand Under-19 team.

He will join the Hurricanes Super 14 squad later this month in preparation for the coming season.


Update: Rugby Planet tribute to Umaga here.

Update: Umaga honoured in World XV selection.

Flashback: French international Thomas Castaignede selects Tana Umaga to his World XV for 2005.

The Red Terror is slowly digesting this sad news and will provide comment when his brain can fully process---stay tuned...



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