Defence coach Tana Umaga to make Blues exit

Tana Umaga was part of Blues since 2016
Tana Umaga was part of Blues since 2016

Blues have confirmed that defence coach Tana Umaga will be leaving the club with immediate effect.

Umaga has been associated with the Blues since 2016 and was the head coach until 2018 season before he was replaced by Leon MacDonald following which he took over the defence coach role.

He was also part of the coaching set up as the Blues went on to win their first major title in 18 years as they clinched the Super Rugby Trans Tasman title. He will now take time off the from the game to focus on his new family business.

“I’ve absolutely loved my time at the Blues, but ultimately my family comes first and, with that in mind, I have decided to put my time and energy into growing our business alongside my wife Rochelle,” Umaga said.

“We are excited about what the future holds for our business, and although I’m stepping away from rugby, I know the door isn’t closed and who knows what the future holds.

"I’m grateful to the Blues and NZR for their understanding and support as I embark on a new chapter.”

Blues Chief Executive Andrew Hore paid tributes to Umaga's contribution to the club and wished him good luck on his new venture with his wife wife Rochelle.

“Tana has been a massive part of the Blues for the past six years. His influence on the club and the team has been significant. He has excelled in his current role of defence and has been an integral part in developing and driving the culture within the team and our club.

“We had hoped he would continue in the role for the next couple of seasons, but we respect his decision and why he has a desire to try something new, and we wish him, and Rochelle, all the best. Our door will always be open for Tana and his family.”