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Tana Umaga Biography
Jonathan Falefasa "Tana" Umaga (born May 27, 1973) is a New Zealand rugby union player, the current captain of the national team, the All Blacks.

Born in Lower Hutt to Samoan immigrant parents, Tana Umaga was originally a rugby league player (and an Under 19's New Zealand representative in that sport for two years), before switching to union. He first played for Wellington in the NPC in 1994 (and has captained them since 2001), has played for the Hurricanes in the Super 12 since the tournament's inception in 1996 (captaining them in the 2003 and 2004 seasons), and was first picked for the All Blacks in 1997. Long established as a winger, he moved to playing in the centres at the end of 2000 and has been acknowledged as one of the hardest tacklers in the game.

Umaga is also respected for his sportsmanship. In a test match against Wales on June 21, 2003, Welsh captain Colin Charvis was knocked out by a tackle from All Blacks forward Jerry Collins, and Umaga stopped playing (despite his team being in an attacking position) to check that Charvis had not swallowed his tongue, and place him in the recovery position. For this act, the International Committee for Fair Play awarded Umaga the Pierre de Coubertin Trophy, an award for outstanding sportsmanship (named for Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games). The Welsh Rugby Union also presented him with a figurine to honour this display of sportsmanship.

Umaga unfortunately missed virtually the entire 2003 Rugby Union World Cup, after being injured in a freak collision with teammate Carlos Spencer in the opening match against Italy. He suffered a damaged posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, and was forced to leave the field, not returning for the remainder of the tournament, which saw the All Blacks eliminated in the semi-finals by the Wallabies.

However, his next outing for the All Blacks was as their captain, after he was selected to replace Reuben Thorne, becoming the first New Zealander of Pacific Islander heritage to captain the All Blacks. So far Umaga has led the All Blacks in two test matches, both against World Cup holders England, for two victories, 36-3 in Dunedin (the heaviest loss ever by a World Cup holding team), and 36-12 in Auckland.

Tana's elder brother Mike was also a rugby international, although for Samoa, not New Zealand. The brothers met in one test match, in 1999—the All Blacks won 71-13, with Tana scoring two tries.
Tana Umaga Resources
All Blacks
Official website of the NZ All Blacks with a biography and photos of captain Tana Umaga.
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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Tana Umaga.