Today's Birthdays

one click shows all of today's celebrity birthdays

Browse All Birthdays

43,625    Actors
27,931    Actresses
4,867    Composers
7,058    Directors
842    Footballers
221    Racing drivers
925    Singers
9,111    Writers

Get FamousLikeMe on your website
One line of code gets FamousLikeMe on your website. Find out more.

Subscribe to Daily updates

Add to Google

privacy policy

Famous Like Me > Actor > U > Tana Umaga

Profile of Tana Umaga on Famous Like Me

Name: Tana Umaga  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 27th May 1973
Place of Birth: Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand
Profession: Actor
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Ionatana 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). In 1992 aged 18 he had trials with NRL side Newcastle Knights but returned to New Zealand because of homesickness. He switched to union after being persuaded by his elder brother Mike, a Samoan rugby union international. The brothers met in one test match, in 1999—the All Blacks won 71-13, with Tana scoring two tries.

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 2003-5 seasons), and was first picked for the All Blacks in 1997. Long established as a winger, he moved to playing as an outside centre at the end of 2000 and inside centre in 2002. Critics point to his move closer to the scrum as evidence of his loss of pace whilst others say that he has become more creative over time. He is 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 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 non-Maori New Zealander of Pacific Islander heritage to captain the All Blacks. Umaga's captaincy began well, with victory in the first six tests, including two against World Cup holders England (a 36-3 win in Dunedin was at that time the heaviest loss ever by a World Cup holding team), and a successful defence of the Bledisloe Cup. Unfortunately, these victories were followed by losses in away games against Australia and South Africa, putting the All Blacks out of contention for the 2004 Tri Nations Series.

His reputation for sportsmanship was questioned by Lions supporters because of an incident in the opening minute of the first Test of the Lions tour to New Zealand on June 25, 2005, when Umaga, along with hooker Keven Mealamu, upended Lions captain Brian O'Driscoll in an controversial post-ruck tackle. The tackle resulted in O'Driscoll dislocating his shoulder, necessitating surgery and causing him to miss the rest of the tour. British media, at first accusing Umaga of foul play, later changed focus, rounding on the press officer of the touring party, Alastair Campbell, for attempting to smokescreen the poor Lions performance. Most importantly, the citing commissioner found that neither Umaga nor Mealamu had a case to answer.

After the controversy, Umaga's reputation was reinforced by his strong captaincy during the remainder of the Lions tour and New Zealand's triumphant 2005 Tri-Nations campaign. The world governing body of rugby union, the International Rugby Board, was so impressed that they shortlisted him for their 2005 World Player of the Year award. European commentators have often compared Umaga to the captain of England's only world cup winning team, Martin Johnson.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Tana Umaga