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Umaga To Lead All Blacks

Umaga To Lead All Blacks

Midfield back Tana Umaga was today (Mon) named
captain of New Zealand’s All Blacks rugby team, the first person of Samoan origin to win the honour.

Midfield back Tana Umaga was today (Mon) named
captain of New Zealand’s All Blacks rugby team, the first person of Samoan origin to win the honour.

The appointment of Umaga, who takes over from Reuben Thorne, was announced in Welington when All Blacks coach Graham Henry named Probables and Possibles trial teams for a selection
match next

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New Zealand-born Umaga, who turns 31 on Thursday, has played 53
Tests for
the All Blacks.

Henry said Umaga had all the attributes needed to lead his country.
He said he spoke to Thorne Sunday and the Canterbury Crusaders
accepted the news “graciously and professionally”.

Meanwhile Super 12 Crusaders No 8 Mose Tuiali’i was a surprise
name in the
Probables line-up.
Tuiali’i, who enjoyed an impressive debut season for the Crusaders
in the
Super 12 contest, has missed the last three weeks due to suspension
being found guilty of a head butt during the Crusaders win over the
Stormers on May 1st.

Besides Tuiali’i, Deacon Manu, Andrew Hore and Keith Robinson are
included in the Probables starting XV, the trio being rewarded for
campaigns in the just concluded Super 12 contest.

Players have been bracketed in two positions in the Probables
line-up, with Jerry Collins and Reuben Thorne set to share the
flanking duties while Richard McCaw and Marty Holah have been
bracketed on the
other side of the scrum.

The Possibles starting XV features a number of players who were
involved at
last year’s Rugby World Cup including Kees Meeuws, Keven Mealamu,
Kelleher, Aaron Mauger, Ben Atiga
and Caleb Ralph.

The Probables will play the Possibles at Eden Park, Auckland, next
The first All Blacks squad will be announced the following day.

The All Blacks coaching staff, will coach the
Probables with Hurricanes coach Colin Cooper
Chiefs coach Ian Foster coaching the Possibles,

Probables: Deacon Manu, Andrew Hore, Greg Somerville, Chris Jack,
Robinson, Jerry Collins/Reuben Thorne, Richard McCaw/Marty Holah,
Tuiali’i, Justin Marshall, Carlos Spencer, Joe Rokocoko, Daniel
Carter, Tana
Umaga, Doug Howlett, Mils Muliaina.
Probables reserves: Derren Witcombe, Tony Woodcock, Brad Thorn,
MacDonald, Jimmy Cowan, Luke McAlister, Andrew Mehrtens, Hosea Gear.

Possibles: Kees Meeuws, Keven Mealamu, Carl Hayman, Jono Gibbes,
Maling, Craig Newby, Josh Blackie, Xavier Rush, Byron Kelleher, Aaron
Sitiveni Sivivatu, Sam Tuitupou, Ben Atiga, Caleb Ralph, Nick Evans.
Possibles reserves: Corey Flynn Carl Hoeft, Ali Williams, Sione
Isaac Boss, Tane Tu’ipulotu. Brent Ward.

AFP – 2004.