Ex-All Black named as next Samoa coach

Date published: December 23 2015

Former All Black centre Alama Ieremia has been appointed as Samoa's new head coach after he served the side as an assistant for the past 18 months.

Ieremia takes over the reins from Stephen Betham who resigned after Samoa's erratic campaign at this year's Rugby World Cup in England.

"I've seen the good the bad and I suppose the ugly at times and I feel I have something to offer the country and am pretty passionate about it too," Ieremia told the New Zealand Herald.

Ieremia, who also played at Test level for Samoa as well as the Hurricanes in Super Rugby and Wellington in New Zealand's National Provincial Championship, admitted that Samoa were at a crossroads as several tier two countries overhauled them at the World Cup.

The 45-year-old is keen to bring in a high performance approach to his new job. A big issue was getting all the players he wanted and being able to dovetail Samoa's local and overseas-based talent, including those playing in New Zealand.

"It's already been a massive issue," added Ieremia.

"I suppose that is one of the major challenges I am going to have and it is something that has been there for a while. It's not just Samoa, it 's Fiji, Tonga… many countries have the same problem and some tier two countries have moved on and done something about it to name Argentina and Japan.

"We have to figure out a way to go with the times otherwise we are going to be left behind and that is something that I wasn't prepared to do, just sit there and look at things eventuating."