Name: Michael Umaga
Sport: Rugby Union
Birthplace: Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand
School attended: Parkway College, Wainuiomata
Sports played: Rugby, Basketball, Volleyball, Soccer at school. After school in Rugby I achieved Provincial honours with Wellington Lions (50 caps), International honours with Samoa (31 caps) being involved in 2 World Cup campaigns (95, 99).
Greatest sporting achievement: Being involved in a world cup campaign for your country is pretty hard to beat.
Greatest coaching achievement: Still feel I've yet to achieve this but winning 2 promotions with Rotherham RFC and coaching in the English Premiership are highlights so far.
Most memorable occasion in sport: I have 2. 1973- All Blacks vs Barbarians probably the greatest game of rugby I've watched. I was 7 and I remember my father waking me up at 3am (NZ time) to watch the game with him on tv and I couldn't believe there could be anyone better than the All Blacks until that day!! Truly inspirational. (It was also the first rugby video I bought for my son when he turned 7). 1999- All Blacks vs Samoa. I played against my younger brother Tana and I had to tackle him in the very first minutes of the game. He said in an interview later that he expected a bit more ferocity from me....I didn't have the heart to tell him I was taking it easy on him!haha A great occasion for our family and I'll never forget the smile on my parents faces.
Likes: Food, friends and family
Dislikes: Pretentious, rude and obnoxious people.
Hobbies and interests: Golf, music and hanging out with my family and watching them grow.
Person who most influenced your career and why: There are always many people who influence and affect your life and career. Here are a few- My Mother, Father and 3 elder sisters because they always supported and encouraged me to "have a go". My former provincial coach David Kirk. A former All Black and RWC winning captain who always stressed to us the importance of creating pathways for ourselves for life after rugby. My wife Michelle and children Jacob, Leilani and Caylen for keeping me grounded and sane and for being my motivation and inspiration.
Favourite ground or stadium: Ellis Park, Johannesburg, South Africa. The place caters for everyone and you can't beat it on a sunny South African day.
Last book read: Funnily enough, it was "Up Close" an autobiography of Tana Umaga. I need to have a word with him about his choice of family photo's in the book!! 15. Favourite movie- The Hurricane
Favourite music/band: I'm a big Soul/RnB fan. More of the old stuff like Aretha Franklin, Barry White, Marvin Gaye.
What’s the best thing about playing sport and studying at UoB: Participation. I think the University really does try and cater for all sporting interests. I have only been here 3 months so I've still alot to see and experience.