Gordon Tietjens steps down



  • Sir Gordon Tietjens steps down as sevens coach

    ALLBLACKS.COM 06 SEP 2016

    New Zealand Rugby has paid tribute to legendary sevens coach Sir Gordon Tietjens following his decision not to seek a new contract after 22 years at the helm of the All Black Sevens team.

    Sir Gordon has led New Zealand to four Commonwealth Games gold medals, 12 World Rugby Sevens Series titles and two Sevens World Championship titles, becoming the most successful coach of all time in the abbreviated form of the game.

    He was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2012 and knighted for his contribution to rugby 12 months later. Many great All Blacks have emerged from the teams he has coached including Jonah Lomu, Christian Cullen, Ben Smith and Beauden Barrett.

    New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew said Sir Gordon had carved out a unique place in New Zealand rugby history. “Titch has guided the All Blacks Sevens team through more than 100 international tournaments, a remarkable achievement that may never be equalled.

    “The number of former sevens players who’ve gone on to become All Blacks speaks for itself and demonstrates the incredible impact that Titch has had on our game. To put the length of his career into context, when he first began in this role rugby was an amateur game, Jim Bolger was Prime Minister and several members of the current All Blacks Sevens team hadn’t even been born.

    “New Zealand Rugby and our country owe him a debt of gratitude for the legacy he’s left behind and all the memories and careers he’s shaped along the way.”

    Sir Gordon said he had taken some time to think about his options following the recent Olympic campaign and felt the time was right for a fresh challenge.

    “I love the sevens game and I’m immensely proud of what I’ve achieved and what all our players have been able to achieve in my time with the team,” he said.

    “We were all incredibly disappointed with our results in Rio, but we have to acknowledge just how far sevens rugby has come. It’s become intensely competitive and the Olympics proved just how tough it is to win at this level these days. I’m sure lessons will be learnt and I wish my successor all the best for the Sevens Series ahead and for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

    “I’ve loved my time in sevens and I aim to still be involved in some capacity. I’m now working through what those next steps are.

    “I’m grateful to New Zealand Rugby for the support they’ve given me over the years. I want to especially acknowledge the management team and all the players who have contributed to the success of New Zealand sevens during the last 22 years. I have so many great memories from what’s been an amazing time with the team.”

    The process to recruit a new coach of the All Blacks Sevens team will get underway immediately with Sir Gordon’s successor expected to take the team into the new season which kicks off in Dubai on 2 December.

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    Background Sir Gordon Tietjens KNZM
    Sir Gordon Tietjens has coached the All Blacks Sevens at more than 100 international sevens tournaments since taking over the side in 1994. In 2012 he received the rare honour of being inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame, unusual for a still serving coach and the first sevens coach to receive such an honour. He was also knighted in 2013 for services to sport.

    Under Sir Gordon, the All Blacks Sevens have won:
    • Four Commonwealth Games gold medals (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010) and one silver medal (2014)
    • 12 HSBC Sevens Series titles
    • Two Rugby World Cup Sevens titles (2001 and 2013)



  • Its live on Facebook right now apparently.



  • @NTA said in Gordon Tietjens steps down:

    Its live on Facebook right now apparently.

    It has already finished, but the video can be watched here on FB:

    link text



  • A real shame he couldn't add an Olympic medal to his list of achievements but regardless, what he has done for 7s in NZ cannot be overstated.



  • Fantastic coach with a terrific record. It will be interesting to see where the programme goes now.



  • @No-Quarter said in Gordon Tietjens steps down:

    A real shame he couldn't add an Olympic medal to his list of achievements but regardless, what he has done for 7s in NZ cannot be overstated.

    His legacy is immense, regardless of the Rio result



  • @canefan said in Gordon Tietjens steps down:

    His legacy is immense, regardless of the Rio result

    Absolutely. I really enjoyed watching the gold medal-winning performances at the Commonwealth Games.

    Now we wait to see which ex-players put their name forward to be the next coach.



  • @Bovidae said in Gordon Tietjens steps down:

    @canefan said in Gordon Tietjens steps down:

    His legacy is immense, regardless of the Rio result

    Absolutely. I really enjoyed watching the gold medal-winning performances at the Commonwealth Games.

    Now we wait to see which ex-players put their name forward to be the next coach.

    I read somewhere that Scott Waldrom is interested.



  • Legend. Sad his final hurrah had to be on his biggest stage yet but it doesn't diminish an amazing legacy.

    Hopefully we'll see some changes to the NZRU's approach to sevens soon too. I get that going straight to the panic station after the commonwealth silver would've been dumb but I still feel like they were way too complacent.



  • Hammer Sevens?



  • @pukunui Nooooooo!



  • They look like they need a good clean out and culture change and we all know who the best guy for that is. The next few years will be a write off but the next coach to come in will have great success.



  • It's interesting surmising what gameplan a new coach will bring. Titch believed that Rio would suit bigger, powerful players who could dominate the contact and breakdown. Ryan implemented a gameplan that had the Fijians eschew the breakdown and rely on their natural ability to keep the ball alive.

    New Zealand is still missing some gas too.



  • @pukunui said in Gordon Tietjens steps down:

    They look like they need a good clean out and culture change and we all know who the best guy for that is. The next few years will be a write off but the next coach to come in will have great success.

    With John Kirwan assisting the Hammer, then after a few years of repeatedly losing every bloody weekend, JK will deign to choose his “successor” after “just 1 more year I promise” and magnanimously eke out “just one more year” of miserably travelling around the world watching rugby I’m sorry my butthurt is still surprisingly strong



  • @antipodean said in Gordon Tietjens steps down:

    It's interesting surmising what gameplan a new coach will bring. Titch believed that Rio would suit bigger, powerful players who could dominate the contact and breakdown. Ryan implemented a gameplan that had the Fijians eschew the breakdown and rely on their natural ability to keep the ball alive.

    New Zealand is still missing some gas too.

    surely that is the first job? Find some players with pace. Or build them. But we've been down on speed compared to our main competitors for a while haven't we?



  • @mariner4life said in Gordon Tietjens steps down:

    @antipodean said in Gordon Tietjens steps down:

    It's interesting surmising what gameplan a new coach will bring. Titch believed that Rio would suit bigger, powerful players who could dominate the contact and breakdown. Ryan implemented a gameplan that had the Fijians eschew the breakdown and rely on their natural ability to keep the ball alive.

    New Zealand is still missing some gas too.

    surely that is the first job? Find some players with pace. Or build them. But we've been down on speed compared to our main competitors for a while haven't we?

    We haven't had genuine pace probably since that O'Donnell boy first came on to the scene. But he was unable to maintain it for a variety of reasons.

    We've looked a little stale for probably 2 years. We've been able to get the odd tournament result but it's seems Titch was unsuccessful in finding that right gameplan to mix structure and flair with the cattle he selected.

    Fantastic coaching career and amazing work ethic to keep it going at the highest level for so long.



  • @ACT-Crusader said in Gordon Tietjens steps down:

    @mariner4life said in Gordon Tietjens steps down:

    @antipodean said in Gordon Tietjens steps down:

    It's interesting surmising what gameplan a new coach will bring. Titch believed that Rio would suit bigger, powerful players who could dominate the contact and breakdown. Ryan implemented a gameplan that had the Fijians eschew the breakdown and rely on their natural ability to keep the ball alive.

    New Zealand is still missing some gas too.

    surely that is the first job? Find some players with pace. Or build them. But we've been down on speed compared to our main competitors for a while haven't we?

    We haven't had genuine pace probably since that O'Donnell boy first came on to the scene. But he was unable to maintain it for a variety of reasons.

    We've looked a little stale for probably 2 years. We've been able to get the odd tournament result but it's seems Titch was unsuccessful in finding that right gameplan to mix structure and flair with the cattle he selected.

    Fantastic coaching career and amazing work ethic to keep it going at the highest level for so long.

    Didn't we have Stowers, O'Donnell and Lam for a bit when they were all pretty quick? But somehow they didn't all maintain the standards all the way through.

    I think Titch's gameplan this year was due to the fact that we don't have express pace and we weren't going to magically find it before the Qlympics. I guess our quick guys in NZ focus on 15 speed rather than 7s speed.

    I don't know if any coach of NZ could have come up with a plan that would have won the Olympics given the cattle available.



  • we've never had many express pace merchants though.

    Always just big fast dudes (Lam in that category)

    Someone like BB woulda been awesome, but, in choosing not to play 7s', look at what he has achieved this year!



  • I'm not sure it was all down to pace. (and it goes without saying that Sevens is a pretty even place these days, the games are short, the referees have a huge influence on the game, and there is no magic formula to win every Sevens tournament).

    Reckon they never replaced Tomasi Cama as the playmaker. We seemed to lack deception in the last couple of years - the ability to break a defence open with just a shrug and a step.



  • Toni Pulu would've been a good signing, he's got plenty of pace, though he's already played Sevens for Niue, so they would've had plan the nationality switch out in advance. Bred Weber's another with some real pace.

    TBH though, I think we're overstating the importance of pace. I felt like the team was a bit of a mess this year, with way too many players going in and out of the team. A lot of those couldn't be avoided with all the injuries but the plan with the Super players seemed to be a complete failure, which showed that Titch was right to reject guys like Ben Smith who just wanted to jump into the squad at the business end. If they're going to do something similar in Tokyo (or the next Commonwealth Games), I think they need to keep the Super players involved all season, maybe playing every second tournament or something, rather than just at the start and end of season.