10 Jan 2006

New Zealand rugby union captain Umaga retires from international competition

2:13 pm on 10 January 2006

The All Black captain Tana Umaga has retired from international rugby and will not be available for the All Blacks effective immediately.

Umaga made the announcement at a media conference in Wellington a short time ago.

Elma MaUa was there.

"The 74-test veteran of Samoan origin says he wants to spend more time with his family, but he will continue to play for the Hurricanes in the newly-expanded Super 14, and the Lions club this year. Umaga's announcement caps a stellar international career, leading the All Blacks to an unparalleled string of achievements in 2005: Victory in the British Lions series; the Tri-Nations title, retention of the Bledisloe Cup and New Zealand's second-ever Grand Slam tour. Umaga says it's been a tough decision but the time is right for him and his family. All Black coach Graham Henry praised his charge but made no commitment as to who would captain the All Blacks. This is Elma MaUa."