Monday, September 24, 2007

Tana Umaga: Up Close

I know what'll be topping Santa's list this year.

Today is the timely release date of Tana Umaga's biography "Tana Umaga: Up Close," published by Hodder Moa (NZ). The New Zealand Herald gets an exclusive excerpt.

In the first extracts of Tana Umaga's autobiography - Up Close, published today - the former All Black captain recalls one of rugby's greatest controversies.

That tackle, O'Driscoll and me: by Tana Umaga

By Tana Umaga

Some choice tidbits:

The Lions leadership and their high-powered spin doctor Alistair Campbell wouldn't take "no case to answer" for an answer and found a way to take the matter much further. The sustained personal attack they launched against me was hard to believe and even harder to stomach. You don't want to take it personally but it's almost impossible not to when another player, a guy you had some respect for, attacks your character in the most direct and damning terms. My first thought was geez, don't be a sook; there's no use crying about it, man, it's over.


Later, when [Paul] O'Connell went down, I went over to him as he was rolling around the ground and said, "Mate, don't give up now, we're just getting started." He jumped straight up. When Stephen Jones came on for Jonny Wilkinson he took the ball up yelling, "For our captain!" like something out of Braveheart. I said, "Are you serious?" You could see how they were trying to motivate themselves but it became quite laughable.

Read the entire excerpt.


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