Umaga set for NZ return

2010-03-13 09:55

Auckland - All Blacks legend Tana Umaga will play for Counties-Manukau in the 2010 New Zealand Cup.

According to the Waikato Times, the former Test centre has signed for the battling franchise and is expected to confirm the two-year deal early next week.

Umaga coached and played at Toulon in France, and is now expected to play and assist Counties-Manukau coach Milton Haig.

He will be available for the Chiefs in the 2011 Super 15, but at 36, there will be serious doubts over his ability to still perform at that level.

Counties-Manukau were last year so strapped for cash they had to take extreme measures to pinch pennies including taking the water coolers out of their offices, but now have the money to attract Umaga, a rugby legend, albeit an aging one.

It is understood, new business development manager Phil Kingsley Jones - Jonah Lomu's former manager - has attracted big money to the franchise and helped sign Umaga.