WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Former Samoa coach Alama Ieremia has been tasked with attempting to turn around the fortunes of New Zealand's largest provincial union Auckland after signing a three-year contract on Monday.
Ieremia, who played for both Samoa and the All Blacks in the 1990s, replaces Nick White after Auckland narrowly escaped being relegated from the top-tier of New Zealand's semi-professional provincial competition this year.
The 47-year-old, who was also an assistant coach at the Wellington Hurricanes from 2009-14, left the Samoa role midway through this year.
"Alama Ieremia ... has a clear vision and professional attitude which will position him well in leading the future success of the team," Auckland Rugby chief Jarrod Bear said in a statement on Monday.
Auckland have traditionally been one of the powerhouses of New Zealand rugby and produced numerous All Blacks.
They had considerable sustained success in the late 1980s-1990s under John Hart and Graham Henry, both of whom went on to coach the national side.
They have struggled in recent years, however, and not won the provincial title since 2007, when they were led by current Bristol coach Pat Lam.
Their lack of success on the domestic front has also filtered into the Super Rugby competition where the Blues have struggled to turn their substantial playing resources into a title since 2003.
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Nick Mulvenney)