Umaga, who led New Zealand to a one-sided Test series victory over the British Lions in the summer and a Tri-Nations title win two months later, said the prospect of a match against traditional rivals Wales at a sold-out Millennium Stadium was mouth-watering.
"I'm looking forward to the weekend - you can only train for so long!" he said. "I just want to lead well and be the player I have been in the past. I want to concentrate on being the best player in my position, because if you're the best player, you'll always get respect. If you look like you're playing just because you're the captain, you're in danger of losing the respect of the players."
Umaga is also looking forward to concentrating on rugby, rather than fielding questions about the incident that ended Lions captain Brian O'Driscoll's tour in the opening minute of the first Test in Christchurch.
"If I carried all that sort of stuff on my shoulders going into a game, I wouldn't be able to get out there," he said, referring to his involvement in the alleged spear tackle that wrecked O'Driscoll's shoulder. "There's a lot more peripheral stuff that you have to get used to. For 80 minutes, I get to put it aside and play rugby.
"You can't control these things and you just have to get on with it. That (O'Driscoll) incident has been dealt with - I don't want to help him sell his books any more."
Wales coach Mike Ruddock has been forced into several changes in his backline for Saturday, but Umaga is expecting more of the ball-running, exciting form that won a Six Nations Grand lam six months ago.
"I think Wales will look to move the ball, with the likes of Stephen Jones and Ceri Sweeney - both of whom I've played before. Out wide, they've got Mark Taylor to straighten the game.
"Hopefully, it will be a great game with a closed game and a dry track."
The Wales match is the first leg of a possible Grand Slam tour, and at the age of 32, Umaga is finding himself surrounded by players who weren't even born when New Zealand last achieved the feat in 1978. Of the starting lineup on Saturday, only Umaga and hooker Anton Oliver were walking when replacement Brian McKechnie kicked the All Blacks to a controversial win over Wales in Cardiff. Lock Chris Jack was six days old and winger Rico Gear was aged seven months.
"It will be an amazing year if the Grand Slam is completed, but it's already been an amazing year," Umaga said. "We're trying to educate the guys about the past, and it's good for them to know the history of the All Blacks."
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