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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 November 2005, 19:28 GMT
Umaga delays retirement decision
Tana Umaga celebrates after the Scotland win
All Blacks captain Tana Umaga insists he wants to continue his Test career following his side's grand slam-winning tour over the home nations.

The 32-year-old won his 74th cap in the win over Scotland after reports in New Zealand hinted it could be his last.

"At my age the question of retirement comes up every year," he said.

"I'll enjoy my two weeks off now and reflect on what we've done. My body feels good so we'll see what happens. I am going to try and keep going."

Umaga, the first All Blacks captain of Pacific Islands heritage, led them for the 21st time at Murrayfield.

But he has reportedly been weighing up his international future since the 3-0 whitewash of the Lions earlier this year, after which he also led them to the Tri-Nations title.

"I was talking to a great former All Black, Frank Bunce, and he said you never make a decision like this after a game," added Umaga.

Only two men have captained the All Blacks to a grand slam and Tana is one of them
All Blacks coach Graham Henry

"I haven't made any decision yet. Who knows when I'll make a decision?"

Head coach Graham Henry has spoken about protecting Umaga so he is able to continue through to the 2007 World Cup.

"Tana is outstanding. I'll always want him in my side - as a rugby player and captain," said Henry.

"Leaders want to set a legacy and we've achieved that with some remarkable results in a 12-month period.

"I take my hat off to them and especially to Tana who has achieved something special.

"Only two men have captained the All Blacks to a grand slam and Tana is one of them."

But the player is said to harbour doubts as to whether he could sustain the physical and mental intensity required until the World Cup.

Umaga is also understood not to be keen to spend more time away from his wife and three children, but is expected to see out a two-year contract with the Wellington Hurricanes.

Flanker Richie McCaw has already deputised for Umaga as All Blacks captain in two Tests and is seen as his natural successor.




SEE ALSO
All Blacks change 13 for Scotland
22 Nov 05 |  Internationals
England 19-23 New Zealand
19 Nov 05 |  Internationals
Ireland 7-45 New Zealand
12 Nov 05 |  Internationals
Wales 3-41 New Zealand
05 Nov 05 |  Internationals


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