Former Manu Samoa coach, Namulauulu Alama Ieremia, has a new role.
He will guide the Auckland Rugby Union’s Mitre 10 Cup team for the next three years.
In a statement, Namulauulu says he is primed to take the reins at Auckland.
“Auckland is a proud and passionate union and are committed to creating a successful future," he said.
"The Mitre 10 Cup campaign is something I’m familiar with. It’s a short and sharp competition.
“I’ll be looking at how to bring our Under 19 success through and mix that with the Super Rugby talent that we have.
There’s a lot of depth and it’s exciting coming into an environment where you can put that together.
“Auckland Rugby is steeped in history. The size of the union, the challenges of getting the best out of our players – these are some of the things that attracted me to the job and I’m really excited about it.”
The 47-year-old was unveiled as the new Auckland head coach on Monday and will assume his role full-time when he moves to the City of Sails next month.
His assistant coaches will be named in the new year.
Over the last 12 months, the ARU have introduced a programme of change within the organisation, with the aspiration to grow participation and build strong, sustainable community rugby.
ARU also have aspirations to be successful across its High Performance teams and it is clear the Mitre 10 Cup performance did not meet expectations this year.
After a full independent review, the ARU has identified actions which need to implemented, including the appointment of a quality head coach to lead the Auckland Mitre 10 Cup team.
After an extensive global recruitment process, the ARU said they are excited to have Ieremia joining the union as Mitre 10 Cup head coach for 2018-20.
“Alama Ieremia is a coach with experience across NPC, Super, and international rugby environments and has a clear vision and professional attitude which will position him well in leading the future success of the Mitre 10 Cup team,” said Auckland Rugby CEO Jarrod Bear.
Ieremia swapped the boots for the clipboard not long after his final game in Japan in 2004.
His CV includes a stint at Japan Top League club Suntory Sungoliath under Eddie Jones, 2007 Wellington Lions assistant coach under Jamie Joseph and 2009-14 Hurricanes assistant coach under firstly Colin Cooper then Mark Hammett.
From 2016-17 he was head coach of Manu Samoa.
As a player, Ieremia was a hard-running midfielder who played 40 games for the All Blacks, including 30 Tests, from 1994-2000, while he turned out for Manu Samoa on five occasions in 1992-93, making him one of just a handful of players to wear the colours of both Manu Samoa and the All Blacks.
One of his claims to fame was scoring the first ever Super Rugby try for the Hurricanes against the Blues in 1996. In all, he played 65 games for Wellington, winning the 2000 NPC first division title in his last season, and 42 for the Hurricanes from 1996-2000 before rounding out his playing days in Japan.
He did return to an NPC final in 2007 as assistant coach, helping Wellington to the decider, where the Lions fell 23-14 to Auckland at Eden Park.