The East Terrace - For the rugby football enthusiast

Tana Umaga launching designer handbag range

Tana Bags
A mock-up of a Tana bag

Posted 30th May, 2006

New Zealand icon Tana Umaga is set to shock the rugby world by launching a range of designer handbags.

The ex-New Zealand captain and Hurricanes centre hit the news recently after he was involved in a bar room incident with Warriors teammate Chris Masoe (click here for report).

The New Zealand Rugby Football Union fined Masoe NZ$3,000 dollars for assaulting a man he tripped over at 7am the morning after the Super 14 final.

Umaga, who was with Masoe at the time, responded by picking up a nearby handbag and hitting Masoe over the head twice. It is alleged the flanker burst into tears after receiving the blows. The NZRFU accepted Umaga was trying to defuse the situation and have not fined the player as a result.

‘On reflection,’ said Umaga, ‘I regret the incident. As I was hitting Masoe over the head, I realised that the handbag was not exactly my style. Personally, I thought there was a bit too much decoration on the bag, that it should be simpler, more minimalist. At the time it was the nearest thing to hand, so I had little choice. But thinking about things in the cold light of day, I am aware that I could design a much better handbag. So I thought, why not give it a try?’

It is believed that the range of accessories will carry the brand name ‘Tana Bags’ and will be aimed at both men and women. Whilst The East Terrace was unable to get access to any of Umaga’s initial designs, it is believed that the bags will be sturdier and tougher than the average handbags on the market.

‘It needs to be elegant, yet strong enough to stop a rampaging back row forward in his tracks,’ said a spokesman for the brand. ‘We feel the current trend in fashion is for both beauty and functionality. The practicality of our bags will give us a major edge over our competitors. We feel it will be popular with young ladies fed up with the attention of drunk, rowdy rugby players.’

Umaga has promised that all ‘Tana Bags’ will be tested on backrow forwards before making it to the shop floor to give them the ‘Tana seal of quality’.

Umaga’s foray into fashion would be the most significant act of rugby fashion since Ollie Le Roux marketed his range of slimming corsets for men in 2001.

It is not known at press time whether Masoe will be involved in the promotion or design of the Tana Bags. .