Ex-All Black to coach Samoa

Former All Blacks centre Alama Ieremia has been appointed as Samoa’s new head coach.

The 45-year-old was Samoa’s assistant coach at the 2015 World Cup under head coach Stephen Betham, who has since resigned.

Ieremia’s appointment is his first as head coach having previously been an assistant at Suntory in Japan, Wellington in New Zealand, the Hurricanes in Super Rugby and most recently with Samoa’s national side for the past 18 months.

The former Samoa international is relishing the opportunity, but have no illusions about the challenge and responsibility that awaits him.

‘I am realistic about the challenges that face [Samoa] and our rugby teams. It's exciting to be part of the changes at SRU, and my first priority will be to align how we develop our work on the field, with the priorities set off the field.'

He admits Samoa will have to work hard if they are to catch up with other second-tier nations who outperformed them at this year’s showpiece, singling out Argentina and Japan who have improved massively since 2011. One of the biggest challenges he faces will be to amalgamate Samoa’s local and overseas players.

Photo: Bertrand Langlois/Getty Images