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Leicester veut Umaga

moza de Tlse

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moza de Tlse

Leicester on an Umaga hunt

Friday January 06 2006

Decision expected next week

The New Zealand captain Tana Umaga is expected to announce next week whether he has retired from international rugby. Naturally many top clubs are showing an interest in acquiring the great player's services.

Umaga, whose names are really Jonathan Falefasa Umaga, born in Wellington, is 32 years of age. He played in 74 Tests for New Zealand, 21 of them as captain, ending leading his team to winning the Tri- Nations, the Bledisloe Cup and a Grand Slam in his last year as captain.

Umaga will play for the Hurricanes in the 2006 Super 14 competition but is expected to retire from international rugby after that, which could well be causing excitement in French and English clubs.

The most interested English clubs are thought to be Leicester Tigers and Harlequins who are expected to be back in the Premiership next year.

At Leicester Umaga would be an ideal replacement for Daryl Gibson who is expected to go home to New Zealand at the end of this season, one in which he has been troubled by injuries.

le capitaine des AB doit annoncer la semaine prochaine s'il arrête ou non sa carrière internationale et bien entendu, beaucoup de clubs voudraient bien le faire venir... dont Leicester et les Harlequins!

il est en contrat avec les Hurricanes jusqu'en 2006 et il ferait le parfait remplacant de Daryl Gibson à Leicester!

Nell, t'as plus d'infos? :crying:

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L'entraineur de Leicester Pat Howard a dit que personne a Leicester a parler a Umaga. Mais les directeurs de Leicester sont toujours tres secret avec la recruitment et je sais pas si c'est vrai ou pas.

J'aime bien s'il va venir quand meme nous avons besoin d'une arriere de l'experience pour mener les arrieres qui sont souvent un peu perdu sous le terrain sans Darryl Gibson. Il y a que Austin qui est un vrai leader et il est souvent blesse.

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moza de Tlse

Umaga to join Mehrtens at Quins?

Sunday January 08 2006

Mehrtens applies for South African citizenship

New Zealand captain Tana Umaga has been linked with a move to English National League title hopefuls, NEC Harlequins.

Umaga: What's he planning?

Umaga: What's he planning?

New Zealand's Sunday News newspaper reports that the veteran centre could soon join former AB team-mate Andrew Mehrtens at the Stoop.

An un-named 'insider' at the London club alleges that Quins boss Dean Richards wants Umaga and another All Black, Justin Marshall (currently at Leeds), to link up with Mehrtens.

"Dean has his heart set on a three-pronged All Black back core," the source told the newspaper.

"There are 21 former All Blacks playing in England, France, Wales and Ireland and that is one of the selling points to Umaga.

"He would be among friends in this part of the world."

Rumours abound that New Zealand's victorious 'grand slam' tour of Britain and Ireland was Umaga's swansong, but the Hurricanes centre has refused to answer questions about his future.

Umaga hinted that he would make a decision over the close season but his manager, Roberto Brady, told Sunday News that no announcement about his charge's future was imminent.

But the rumour mill kicked into overdrive after Mehrtens revealed that he has applied for South African citizenship in order to help Quins secure the signature of an extra overseas player.

The 32-year-old pivot was born in South Africa and aims to exploit a legal loophole whereby South Africans are not counted as imported players by English clubs.

"I'm looking at it because South Africans play as locals over here [in England]," Mehrtens told New Zealand's Sunday Star-Times.

"But I've been investigating it from a while back - even before I looked seriously at coming to the UK I'd realised it would be a bit of a plus."

But Mehrtens denied that his move was a precursor to the arrival of Umaga.

"I haven't talked to Tana specifically about it, and I don't know what his plans are although [a move to Europe] has been talked about for a long time," he said.

"I don't know what he'll do but I'd say he'll probably play his time out in New Zealand."

Quins might find Marshall a less awkward customer to pin down.

The former All Blacks scrum-half has a clause in his contract that states that if Leeds are relegated he can quit his contract instead of playing in Division One - Leeds are currently propping up the Guinness Premiership with just two wins in 11 outings.

Quins are currently top of the National League with a 100 percent record and look set for an immediate return to the top-flight following relegation last season.

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