Umaga urges patience from Ioane

All Blacks wing Rieko Ioane may be keen to look to his future at centre in rugby but Blues coach Tana Umaga, who knows well the demands of switching from wing to the midfield, has told him not to be in a hurry.

Options for Ioane are minimal in the Blues midfield anyway with Sonny Bill Williams and George Moala well placed incumbents.

“As I said to him it’s hard when he’s the world’s best left wing so it’s his own fault at the moment,” Umaga told the All Blacks’ official website.

“We know there’s a future for him and that he wants to play centre. It’s a credit to Rieko that he just wants to do what’s best for the team. He’ll get his opportunity I’m sure, as he did last year, and it’s up to the mid-fielders to put their best foot forward because they know he wants it.

“That’s what we want, the competition for positions.

“I’ve been through that and I’m nowhere near as fast as he was and I don’t think there’s going to be any time that he’s going to lose that, but it’s a good place to start and get a real understanding of what a midfielder wants because obviously when you’re on the wing you’re always talking to your midfield telling them to give you the ball.

“So once he goes into the midfield and his winger keeps asking him for the ball he’ll know what it feels like.”

- Team Talk Media
- Team Talk Media