With his dad Mike and uncle Tana playing at international level, it was inevitable that Jacob Umaga would take up rugby and do well in his own right as a member of the Leicester Tigers Academy. Centre Mike Umaga won 13 caps for Samoa and Tana, a centre/wing, played 74 times for New Zealand and captained the All Blacks. In June last year, Jacob switched to the Wasps Academy and two months later scored a thrilling long-range try for England U18 against France in Cape Town. His U20 debut was in the 59-17 win over France at Exeter this February and he landed all his five place-kicks against Wales six days later along the way to England’s 37-21 victory at Colwyn Bay and he made four appearances in the World U20 Championship in Georgia in June.
Halifax born he attended Northowram Primary in the Yorkshire town before going to St John’s Primary and Kenilworth Secondary School. He has since completed A-level studies for a BTEC in sport and French at Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth I College in Leicester. Jacob played at Halifax-based Old Brodleians from the age of four (2002/04) and Kenilworth (2004/14).
Jacob said: “Many of my family members play rugby so I grew up around the sport. Most of the time my dad was coaching or playing so I spent most weekends at various grounds. I like the fact that in rugby you can meet new people from different countries and travel to new places.”
He has played for Warwickshire U14, Leicestershire U15/U16 and Midlands U16 and in rugby league helped Coventry Bears to win the Midlands U16 Championship. He continued: “I want to become the best player I can be and also play basketball to a high standard.” He captained sides at Kenilworth from U9-U16 and won representative honours with the England mixed U18 touch rugby team and Midlands rugby league at U14/U15 level. His most memorable game was for Leicester Tigers against Loughborough University before the start of the competitive season in 2015/16.
Two seasons ago, he figured at No.12 for Leicester but has appeared in all backline positions. At representative level he has been at No.10. His sister Leilani is also talented and plays county netball.
Jacob’s top performers are Dan Carter, Carlos Spencer, Benji Marshall and Ma’a Nonu. Welford Road is his favourite ground but as a spectator, the Westpac Stadium in Wellington is his best venue he has visited.
22 points - 8C 2PG
2017 F(R), W, It, S(R) World Championship – Sam(R), W(R), SA(R), NZ
30 points – 2T, 7C, 2PG
2016 F(R), S, W, I, S, W SA Tour: F, SA 'A', SA
Last updated: 19 June 2017