Ex-All Black Umaga leaves Blues coaching staff

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Tana Umaga. (Photo by Dianne Manson/Getty Images)
Tana Umaga. (Photo by Dianne Manson/Getty Images)

Former All Blacks captain Tana Umaga announced on Tuesday he was leaving the coaching staff at Super Rugby's Blues to pursue business interests.

Umaga, who played 74 Tests for New Zealand, including 21 as skipper, had been the Blues' defence coach since 2018.

He had previously spent three seasons as head coach before being replaced by Leon MacDonald, who guided the Blues to the Super Rugby Trans Tasman title this year, the franchise's first major honour in 18 years.

Umaga said he was leaving the Blues to focus on his business, which produces dietary supplements.

"Although I'm stepping away from rugby, I know the door isn't closed and who knows what the future holds," he said.

MacDonald said Umaga, 48, had been a major part of the Blues' revival.

"His influence throughout our club, on and off the grass, has been crucial to where we are today and I am sure we would love to see him return in the future," he said.

Umaga's international career included leading the All Blacks in 2005 to a Grand Slam victory and a clean sweep of the British & Irish Lions the same year.

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