Mike Umaga

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Mike Umaga
Full name Michael Umaga
Date of birth 1966-02-19
Place of birth Lower Hutt, New Zealand
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 100 kg (15 st 10 lb)
Notable relative(s) Tana Umaga (brother)
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Fullback, Wing, Centre
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1997-2004 Rotherham 31 (149)
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1995-1999  Samoa 13 (13)
Coaching career
Years Club / team
2004-2006 Coventry R.F.C.
Nuneaton R.F.C.

2012- Stourbridge Saxons

Rugby union career

Mike Umaga is a former Samoan rugby union international and brother of former New Zealand rugby union Captain Tana Umaga. He played his brother Tana Umaga on one occasion losing 13 - 71.

Umaga moved to England in 1995 and played two seasons of rugby league with Halifax.[1] However, shortly after rugby union turned professional, he switched codes, joining Rotherham in 1997 as player/coach.

He made his on-field debut on January 17, 1998, and in six seasons with the club played 133 games (started 130), scoring 38 tries, 85 conversions & 69 penalties for a total of 567 points.[2] He jointly holds the club record for most conversions in a single match (10 v Waterloo on March 11, 2000) He played his last game for Rotherham on May 8, 2004 against Newcastle Falcons. Umaga scored one try in the 20-26 loss, which was the final game of the Zurich Premiership 2003/2004 season. Rotherham were relegated, without winning a single match in the campaign.

In July 2004, Umaga signed with Coventry R.F.C., initially as the backs coach, becoming the assistant coach in September 2004 and the head coach in April 2005. However, his time there ended in controversy when he was suspended by the club for unspecified "serious allegations" on 14 November 2006.[3] He resigned less than two weeks later.[4] He subsequently launched a case at against Coventry RFC at an employment tribunal for breach of contract and constructive unfair dismissal. In 2007, the tribunal found in his favour and awarded him £38,000.[5][6]

Following his departure from this post, he signed as player/coach for local team Kenilworth R.F.C., making his debut on 13 January 2007 in a 20-6 away victory against Camp Hill in Midlands Division 2 (West).[7] He played in only six games, but coached the team to promotion into Midlands Division 1 for the 2007/2008 season.

Umaga was the new head coach of Nuneaton R.F.C.,[8] losing his first match in charge, a pre-season friendly against Newbury, by a score of 22-37. He also used coaches rugby at Warwick School, training the backs of the 1st XV. As well as being the of coach the University of Birmingham, he is also the coach at Stourbridge Saxons RFC in National division two. Umaga and the team were on the verge of promotion when a last gasp try by Worthing, who won the game 28-26. His son, Jacob Umaga is a highly regarded prospect at Leicester Tigers EPDG and also at Coventry Bears RL at the age of 15.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kiwi trio pay price in cost cutting The Independent, 22 February 1996
  2. ^ Rotherham Rugby Stats: http://www.clubrrufc.co.uk
  3. ^ Coventry Rugby Club - Coventry RFC Statement Regarding Mike Umaga
  4. ^ BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/english/6150866.stm
  5. ^ Bolton, Paul (5 Oct 2008). "Coventry not safe yet, as Exeter hit record score". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2010-03-23. 
  6. ^ "£38,000 tribunal payout for coach: Former coach wins claim against rugby club". Coventry Evening Telegraph (www.highbeam.com). December 19, 2007. Retrieved 2010-03-23. 
  7. ^ BBC - Coventry and Warwickshire - Sport - K's win on Umaga's debut
  8. ^ Nuneaton RFC