Cape Town - The Samoa Rugby Union have announced that Alama Ieremia has resigned from his position as the national team's head coach.
Ieremia, who coached Samoa from December 2015 after he served the side as an assistant for 18 months before that, stepped down from his position after his side finished last in the Pacific Nations Cup.
That three-nation competition also featured Fiji and Tonga and acted as a World Cup qualifying tournament. Fiji and Tonga eventually qualified for the 2019 World Cup in Japan as winners and runners-up while Samoa must now face a second-tier European country in a repechage fixture to qualify for the global showpiece.
Ieremia said: "It is with a very heavy heart that I have decided to stand down as Head Coach of Manu Samoa.
"I took on this role knowing the challenging circumstances and the changing profile and landscape of international rugby for Manu Samoa. Although the goal was to win and build towards the World Cup in Japan, the losses of this campaign have proven too costly for everyone.
"I feel I still have much to give this role so I’m hugely disappointed with this outcome, but as head coach, I alone must take full responsibility for our results. I believe my decision today is the best one for our beloved Manu Samoa team.
"I’m immensely proud of the development of this team and I know there is a strong foundation for them to move forward for greater things in the near future.
"It is always tough to get the right quality mix of new and experienced players, but I believe there is now a core nucleus that can move forward from here.”
"I am grateful to the Samoa Rugby Union and the Board for their support of me and our management team. They have borne a lot of criticism for the results we delivered but I have never doubted their belief in the Manu Samoa."