Ieremia steps into Auckland hot seat

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Monday, December 11, 2017    Getty Images

Having just avoided relegation from the Premiership during the 2017 campaign, Auckland needed to find a new coach after previous coach Nick White said he wouldn't be seeking the role.

Ieremia, 47, a 30-Test All Black, who played 65 times for Wellington and 42 times for the Hurricanes, answered the call.

"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," he said.

"Auckland is a proud and passionate union and is committed to creating a successful future."

Ieremia said he would be looking to build on the base of Under-19 success by mixing it with the Super Rugby talent on hand.

"There's a lot of depth, and it's exciting coming into an environment where you can put that together," he said.

Since ending his playing days in New Zealand with a Wellington side that won the national championship in 2000, Ieremia played in Japan until 2004. He began his coaching career at Suntory Sungoliath under Eddie Jones, and then was assistant coach for Wellington under Jamie Joseph. From 2009-14 he was an assistant coach for the Hurricanes with Colin Cooper and Mark Hammett while most recently in 2016-17 he was coach of Samoa.

Auckland Rugby chief executive Jarrod Bear said an extensive global recruitment process had been undertaken after an independent review and Ieremia had won the position.

"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," he said.

As a player Ieremia bridged the gap between the amateur and professional eras and had the distinction of scoring the first try in Super Rugby from the opening game when the Hurricanes lost to the Blues 28-36 at Palmerston North in 1996. That year he was a member of the All Blacks team which beat South Africa in a series in Africa for the first time.