All Blacks legend Tana Umaga has been named as the next head coach of Super Rugby Pacific side Moana Pasifika, replacing the outgoing Aaron Mauger after a challenging opening two seasons for the club.

Newshub reported on Wednesday of Umaga’s appointment. The former utility back started his coaching career with Toulon in 2008 and has since been involved with Counties Manukau, the New Zealand U20s, the Blues and Samoa.

It’s been a tough start for the Moana club, claiming just three wins in their opening two seasons in Super Rugby Pacific. Adding to the incoming coach’s challenge is the loss of damaging midfielder Levi Aumua, as the All Black hopeful pursues higher honours with the Crusaders.

In more positive news for Moana, reports suggest Crusaders loose forward Sione Havili Talitui will join the side in 2024.

Umaga’s head coaching experience in Super Rugby has been largely unsuccessful to date, he was unable to reach a 50% win rate with the Blues over his three seasons in charge after taking over from Sir John Kirwin.

Vacating the head coaching role, Umaga later took up the role of defence coach under Leon MacDonald and assisted in developing the Blues squad which would go on to win Super Rugby Trans Tasman.