Super Rugby
Umaga keen to coach Singapore franchise
ESPN Staff
July 20, 2014
Tana Umaga has strong connections with Singapore and will coach an Asia Pacific Dragons side there later this year © Getty Images

Tana Umaga is keen to coach a Singapore Super Rugby franchise if the country wins its bid to host one of the competition's new teams in 2016.

Singapore is in a straight fight with Japan over who will host an 18th Super Rugby franchise when the competition expands in two years. The Asian nations are vying for one spot in the enlarged tournament, with South Africa's Southern Kings and a new side from Argentina already confirmed as taking part.

Umaga already has strong links with Singapore rugby and will coach the Asia Pacific Dragons there in a game against the Maori All Blacks later this year. The former All Black captain is currently head coach of New Zealand side Counties Manukau and has also been linked with a role at the Blues next season.

"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 spoken of his support for the Singapore bid - his words contrasting with those of Japan head coach Eddie Jones, who claimed it was a "joke" that Singapore was even being considered as a potential host for a Super Rugby team.

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

"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."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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