Former All Blacks centre Alama Ieremia named Samoa coach

Former All Blacks centre Alama Ieremia has been appointed head coach of Samoa after serving as an assistant in their disappointing Rugby World Cup campaign.

Ieremia, 45, replaces Stephen Betham, who resigned after the Samoans failed to advance through pool play. They beat the United States but suffered losses to South Africa, Japan and Scotland, plunging to a record-low 15th in the world rankings.

Ieremia's promotion was recommended by a five-man appointment panel headed by former All Blacks captain Graham Mourie.

The former Hurricanes centre has held assistant coaching roles at club level in Japan and was second in command of the Wellington outfit during Mark Hammett's tenure.

Ieremia will also work as the Samoa Rugby Union's director of coaching and will oversee the coaching of all its national teams.

The length of his contract is still to be confirmed.