• Blues opt to retain Umaga

    The Blues have confirmed that Tana Umaga will remain as head coach until at least the end of the 2019 Super Rugby season.

    The Blues have managed just three wins from 11 games this season, which has placed Umaga under plenty of pressure.

    Blues CEO Michael Redman said that while the board is not satisfied with current performances, it does not believe the answer is to change head coach at this time.

    However, former Crusaders assistant coach, Leon MacDonald will join the Blues as assistant coach.

    ‘The board believes there are positive improvements taking place at all levels at the club, and that Tana still has a contribution to make,’ Redman said. ‘Changing head coach now would mean we throw out three years of hard-earned experience and starting again which we believe is the wrong thing to do.

    ‘At the same time, the expected shifts in on-field performance are yet to be achieved and we are examining every aspect of team selection, preparation and support as our fans would expect.

    ‘The players support Tana’s plan and we feel we are close to unlocking the true potential of this group. In that respect we are absolutely thrilled to have attracted a coach of Leon’s stature to join the club to help achieve this.’

    Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

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