Umaga stands down as Blues head coach, MacDonald takes charge


Leon MacDonald has today been appointed as the new head coach on a three-year term while retaining the attack portfolio alongside Tom Coventry as the forwards coach and Daniel Halangahu as the skills and back coach.

MacDonald, a 56-test All Black, started coaching at the Tasman Mako after his playing retirement in 2010.

Former All Blacks captain Tana Umaga has been demoted from his role as head coach of Super Rugby's Auckland-based Blues.

"This opportunity has arisen and I am honoured to have been considered for the role". "I chose to move to the Blues to work with Tana and with Tom Coventry, and nothing has changed in that respect. I will give it my heart and soul", he said. He also worked with Umaga with the New Zealand Under-20s in 2015.

Blues chief executive Michael Redman said the change was a progressive decision by everyone involved.

"From a personal point of view, obviously being a New Zealander, you always want the best for the All Blacks", said Umaga.

Lovren ataca a Ramos y se burla de la bandera de España
Con la victoria sobre España , Croacia mantiene posibilidades de avanzar a los 'Final Four' de la UEFA Nations League . Sin embargo, Lovren rompió esta " norma no escrita " para atacar e insultar a los jugadores españoles y a su bandera.

"Tana has a tremendous amount to contribute on the grass and he has learned a lot about this team". "He can still apply this experience in his new role, which will greatly assist Leon as new head coach".

"We are aware that this timing is not ideal but that was for good reason".

"We are excited about the leadership and vision that Leon will bring with the strong support from Tana, Tom and Dan". The 28-year-old Ireland global has become a integral part of Joe Schmidt's team in the last 12 months, but things could have been a lot different had a certain All Black not bumped into him many years ago.

The board had decided change was needed to reverse a fall from grace for the three-time champions, who haven't reached the play-offs since 2011 nor won a title for 15 seasons.

"Whether that is for Ireland or anything, I'm 100 per cent behind Bundee".

Blues coach Umaga was thrilled to see his former charge continue a rags to riches journey which has been built on dedication and hard work.