Umaga keen on Singapore coaching job

Date published: July 20 2014

Counties coach Tana Umaga is keen to coach the Singapore franchise if they win the bid to be Super Rugby's new team in 2016.

Counties Manukau coach Tana Umaga is keen to coach the Singapore Super Rugby franchise if they win the bid to be one of the new teams in 2016.

Umaga has been associated with Singapore Rugby for a while now, and will coach the Asia Pacific Dragons when they face the Maori All Blacks later this year.

Singapore are in a battle with Japan to be included in Super Rugby when it becomes an 18-team tournament in 2016.

Umaga is seen as a frontrunner to coach Singapore's team if their bid is successful because of his links to the region and his ability to lure players to the franchise.

He didn't apply for the Hurricanes' head coaching position, when Mark Hammett announced that he would not be in charge of the Wellington-based franchise anymore, and he was also linked to an assistant coaching post at the Blues for next season.

But Umaga admits that he's keen on exploring his options and Singapore is one of those.

“There are a few positions up for grabs at the moment and I'm interested in looking at all of the options,” Umaga told New Zealand's Sunday News.

“If it does come to that, and I'm one of the ones that's asked to apply, then I'll look at it.

“Until that happens, I can't apply for something that's a what if, the decision is still a few months away and you don't know what's going to happen.”

Umaga has worked wonders during his stint with Counties Manukau and proven that he deserves to coach at Super Rugby level.

The former All Blacks captain believes Singapore is a good place for a Super Rugby franchise to be based.

“They're in the top two, so they've got as good a chance as Japan to get a team,” added Umaga.

“I'm not too sure what will happen. I don't make those decisions and we'll have to see how it goes, but I've been associated with them for a few years.

“In terms of the bid, I think Singapore would be good, I've been there a few times, it's a nice place. I was just there for the 10s, they've got a great stadium there.”