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Tana Umaga's nephew lighting it up in the URC for Benetton

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Saturday Dec 23, 2023

One-time capped English international Jacob Umaga has had an interesting Rugby journey since making his debut against the USA in July 2021.

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The son of former Samoan international Mike Umaga and the nephew of former All Blacks captain Tana, Jacob comes from as good a rugby stock as one could hope to find.

Born in Halifax in West Yorkshire, Jacob played the majority of his rugby for Wasps before the club went into administration.

Faced with the dilemma of having to find a new club, the now 25-year-old chose a path few other English internationals would as he joined URC side Benetton.

The Italian club have been one of the biggest improvers in the league over the past three years.

Currently sitting with just a single loss in the URC this season, Benetton could end 2023 inside the top three of the table, depending on how results play out this weekend.

Crucial to this success has been Umaga’s continued growth as a playmaker.

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Playing alongside several internationals, Umaga has been one of the top performers for Marco Bortolami’s squad.

These performances have brought about an interesting scenario as the flyhalf is nearing the necessary three-year stand-down period to be eligible for both New Zealand and Samoa should new England coach Steve Borthwick not recall him.

As touched upon above, Umaga is still just 25-years-old and as such, would arrive at the 2027 Rugby World Cup at 29. Thus making him a key candidate to be a top-class option for any country he would be representing.

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From purely a storyline perspective, seeing Jacob follow in the footsteps of his father as a Samoan international would be an incredible development.

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