January 26, 2009 / 4:10 PM / in 10 years

Former All Blacks captain Umaga to resume playing

The Hurricanes Tana Umaga leaves the field after playing his last game in Super 14 rugby against the Waratahs in Wellington May 5, 2007. REUTERS/Anthony Phelps

PARIS (Reuters) - Former New Zealand captain Tana Umaga will resume his playing career to try to help French side Toulon escape relegation, the club said on Monday.

Centre Umaga, who had retired from competitive rugby two years ago, will continue in his role as manager but has also signed a player contract until the end of the season, Toulon said on their website (www.rctoulon.com).

The club lie bottom of the French championship table.

The 35-year-old Umaga signed a two-year deal as Toulon manager last year, when they were still in the second division, after playing seven games for them in 2006.

Former France winger and captain Philippe Saint-Andre, who will step down as director of rugby at Sale at the end of the season, will take up the same role at Toulon next season, the French club also said.

Saint-Andre will be followed by France hooker Sebastien Bruno, also leaving Sale for Toulon, the club added.

Writing by Patrick Vignal; Editing by Sonia Oxley

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