Umaga continues the family tradition after receiving a call-up in England after a strong year with Wasps
Jacob Umaga continues the rich family tradition after a call-up to England after a breakthrough season at Wasps – as fly-half follows in the footsteps of his uncle and former All Blacks captain Tana
- Umaga’s dad Mike played Samoa while his uncle Tana played for New Zealand
- The wasp fly-half made the cut for Marcus Smith and Joe Simmonds
- The 22-year-old joined Eddie Jones’ squad after the Premiership final
You don’t have to travel far to Jacob Umaga’s family tree to find that he comes from one of rugby’s richest bloodlines.
His father Mike played for Samoa and his mother Michelle played touch rugby for England. In addition, his uncle Tana was a legendary All Black captain.
Umaga could have pledged his international allegiance to all of those three countries, but growing up in Yorkshire, the 22-year-old aviator nailed his colors to the English mast.
Eddie Jones feels Jacob Umaga is ready to represent England after a strong domestic season
Umaga’s father Mike (left) and his uncle Tana (right) played rugby union at the international level
The youngster had barely got home from the Wasps’ Premiership final in Twickenham when he was recalled to London by Eddie Jones.
He was one of the main sparks in the Wasps revival under Lee Blackett, breaking open the defenses with his instinctive attack.
Blessed with speed and footwork, he takes on defenders and has an eye for a hole – as he showed with his try against Exeter on Saturday.
Jones liked what he saw. Umaga has been selected for Marcus Smith and Joe Simmonds – and could be included in the matchday roster to play against Italy on Saturday.
“No tens are like a sushi chef,” Jones said. ‘As a sushi chef you have a lifelong ambition to be good. In general, it takes about 10 years to start making sushi.
No. 10’s are the same. Jacob is at the beginning of apprenticeship and he can graduate very quickly and be able to make sushi at the corner stall – and then maybe he can make sushi at a five-star restaurant.
English coach Jones thinks Dan Carter is a player whose example Umaga should follow
‘Nobody knows the development of the player, but what you should try is to put him in an environment and encourage him to play to his strengths.
Look at Daniel Carter’s example. He was at his best at 35, the complete package: calm, takes field goals when they need them, kicks to the corner, and if there’s a line break he’s in.
“You have to identify those guys who are so instinctive and then try to pass them through.”