Tana Umaga replaced as head coach of Auckland-based Blues

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Leon Macdonald and Tana Umaga.

Leon Macdonald and Tana Umaga. (Photo: Photosport)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Former All Blacks captain Tana Umaga has been demoted from his role as head coach of Super Rugby's Auckland-based Blues.

Umaga's former All Blacks teammate Leon MacDonald will take over as head coach a year earlier than planned. Umaga will stay on for two years as an assistant with responsibility for defense.

MacDonald recently joined the Blues as an assistant to Umaga and was to take the head coaching role from 2020. But a new new board of directors has acted immediately to address the team's recent history of under-performance. Under Umaga, the Blues have placed ninth, 11th and 14th in the last three seasons.

The Blues haven't won a Super Rugby title since 2003, and haven't reached the semifinals since 2011.

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