Rugby-Umaga quits Blues role to focus on family business

·1-min read

(Reuters) - Former All Blacks skipper Tana Umaga has quit his assistant coach role at the Auckland Blues to focus on his family business, the Super Rugby side said on Tuesday.

Umaga has been defence coach at the Blues for the past three seasons after being replaced as head coach by Leon MacDonald in 2019.

The 48-year-old, who played 74 tests as a winger and centre, departs after having earlier signed a multi-year extension with New Zealand Rugby to continue his work at the club.

"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 in a team release.

"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."

Umaga and his wife started a supplements business earlier this year.

Umaga struggled to lift the Blues out of the doldrums as head coach but the team's defence was rock-solid this season as they claimed the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman title, their first championship in 18 years.

MacDonald said the door would be open for Umaga to return to the club.

"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.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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