Tana Umaga to coach Counties

2011-12-23 12:56

Auckland - Former All Blacks captain Tana Umaga will coach ITM Cup team Counties-Manukau next season, gaining his first head coach position after cutting his teeth at Toulon in France and with the Steelers in Japan as a player-assistant coach.
According to the website, Umaga worked under Milton Haig this season, and Counties recorded a fourth-placed finish in the second tier 'ITM Cup Championship'.

The 74-Test legend, whose final Test match was against Scotland in 2005, was looking forward to continuing the work.

"This is a region full of talent and I am looking forward to capturing that talent, enhancing and retaining it, while building on the good work with the players that we have already done," Umaga said.

"Our players enjoy the environment and this is one of the reasons we are also experiencing interest in players from other Unions which is a nice change.

Counties Manukau CEO Andrew Maddock said Umaga was a natural choice to take over from Haig.

"His experience, wealth of knowledge and coaching skills are greatly valued and we are looking forward to our players continuing to benefit from him,” he said.