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)

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  • 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.



  • @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.



  • I think part of the disappointing results is the number and severity of injuries as well. This year was extreme, but there were also many injuries in previous years. I wonder whether the training regime had anything to do with that. At some tournaments, the players looked already tired at the first day and mentally "not quite there". That could be a sign of being overtrained.



  • When I think of the speedsters we've had in the sevens in the past the names Vidiri, Randle, Fleming etc come to mind. None of the players we've used in the last 5 yrs are in that class. Then we had the x-factor players, e.g. Lomu, Cullen, who gave the team an extra edge.

    Sure injuries have played a part but it seems that Titch never really settled on the tactics to get the best out of the players he had at his disposal. Perhaps the "success" in Wellington and Sydney gave everybody a false sense of the strength of the team, and they hoped to be able to flick the switch and replicate that style in Rio. Unfortunately the x-factor players like the Ioane bros failed to deliver in Rio, and other injury-prone players got injured again.



  • @Nepia said in Gordon Tietjens steps down:

    @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.

    Better playmaking would've helped considerably.



  • Would've been nice to see Damian McKenzie out there.



  • Many have said it before, I think we need to manage 7's independently of 15's. It sends the wrong message to players looking at or playing circuit 7's to have super rugby players come in, and none of them made an impact anyway. In many ways touch is a better fit skills wise. There must be players in NZ that have the skills and creativity we need



  • In no ways is touch a better fit!



  • Just listened to Tietjens on the TV news tonight. His comments highlight the problem sevens has competing with XVs. He identified 3 players from the U19 tournament that he wanted in the sevens programme and the players wanted to be involved. But those players were selected by Super teams/WTGs so weren't available. No mention of the names but it would be easy enough to work out.



  • Among others the Herald is touting newly crowned Olympic 7s coach Ben Ryan as a possible candidate now he has finished with Fiji. An Englishman coaching a NZ rugby team, now there's a thing!



  • I'm a bit of a fair weather Sevens fan but in my less than expert view it seems the rest of the world moved on but NZ didn't ?

    22 years is a hell of an effort but no one can maintain such excellence for that long. It was a bit simplistic for talkback morons to say Beauden Barrett, Ardie Savea etc should have been "made" to play Sevens for the chance at an Olympic Medal. They didn't want to jeopardise their AB careers even for part of a year and in the case of those two have achieved great things in the longer form of the game.



  • Yup, BB has had a breakout season that he would not have had if he went to the 7s. I am very pleased he chose the ABs, we have our starting 10 for the next 5 odd years now.

    Same goes for Ardie (not on the breakout season part) but having him in the AB camp has been invaluable to his development.

    Don't get me wrong, I wanted to win the 7s medal. But I want the ABs to win way way more.



  • 7's will, for the indefinite future, be the loser when it comes to choosing the best players for higher honours. They need to get to grips with that and work out how to pick the best team from what is left



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

    Yup, BB has had a breakout season that he would not have had if he went to the 7s. I am very pleased he chose the ABs, we have our starting 10 for the next 5 odd years now.

    Same goes for Ardie (not on the breakout season part) but having him in the AB camp has been invaluable to his development.

    Don't get me wrong, I wanted to win the 7s medal. But I want the ABs to win way way more.

    Exactly, People were saying that they should have has a "Super" team that should have been training the moment the ABs won the Cup and that, other than the guys I mentioned the likes of Read, Smith x 2, Messam etc should have been picked. Messam had a crack and good on him but the others chose the ABs and they're totally entitled to do that. If Read for example hadn't he might have become a modern day Mike Brewer cos his captaincy position could have been usurped and he mighten't have got it back.



  • There has been quite a bit of speculation since Titch stepped down about who would be the next men's sevens coach.
    Names that have been thrown around are Eric Rush, Karl Tenana, Scott Waldrom and women's sevens coach Sean Horan.
    Sean Horan has now stepped down as the women's coach ...

    **Sean Horan steps away from Black Ferns Sevens role**
    
    ALLBLACKS.COM     14 SEP 2016     SEAN HORAN
    
    *Black Ferns Sevens coach Sean Horan is stepping down from coaching the Black Ferns Sevens following New Zealand’s silver medal success at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero.*
    
    Horan has coached the team for nearly five years and said now was the right time to look for a fresh challenge.
    
    “I’m immensely proud of the team, the players and the management,” he said. “It’s been a huge privilege to have been part of this amazing ride.”
    
    Under Horan, New Zealand has won three out of the first four Women’s Sevens Series titles, and finished second in the fourth season of the new look series this year. The team are also the reigning World Champions after winning Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow in 2013 and won the silver medal in Rio last month, losing to Australia in the final. 
    
    Horan came to the role when New Zealand Rugby launched the Go4Gold programme which aimed to attract women from all sports in order to build a strong national sevens team. 
    
    “We fell short of our goal in Rio, but we shouldn’t lose sight of what we’ve achieved. We’ve built a strong platform for the future and that’s a credit to the hard work our players and management have put in over the years.
    
    "Our vision was always to inspire young women to wear the black jersey and be very proud and I think we did that. The game now is huge. There are many clear pathways for young women to embrace sevens and aspire to wear the black jersey.
    
    “It’s hugely satisfying to have been part of this great adventure right from the beginning,” he said. “We started with a blank canvas and built a great team in a short period of time. I leave knowing my successor will come to the job with a strong high performance programme established.
    
    “We’ve nailed much over the past five years. I really hope what this team has done inspires a new generation of players who see sevens as an exciting option.”
    
    The former Bay of Plenty Steamers coach said he would now take a break from the game and consider some options.
    
    “I love rugby and fully intend to keep involved in some shape or form, but now’s the right time for someone else to take up the sevens reins and build on the strong foundation the team’s created.”
    
    New Zealand Rugby will shortly advertise for the new Black Ferns Sevens coach. The four-year appointment will be through to the next Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.
    

    http://soundcloud.com/allblacks/sean-horan-steps-away-from-black-ferns-sevens-role



  • As an aside, a lot of discussion has taken place over the last few years about the branding of the men's sevens team as the "All Blacks Sevens" team. At the time the decision to give them and the NZ Maori team the name "All Blacks" was taken, there was no mention at all about what would happen to the women's teams. I interpreted that as a sign that they didn't see the women's teams as teams that they considered useful for their marketing of the brand "All Blacks" but also that they didn't consider "Black Ferns" as a brand to be marketed.

    Things seem to have changed. The "Black Ferns" seem to be becoming a brand of its own, as in the last few articles (basically since Rio), the NZR publications are referring to the women's sevens team as the "Black Ferns Sevens" (they didn't do that before Rio). Whatever you think of extending the XV's names - as brand names - to other teams (I'm not posting this to re-open that discussion), I think it's a good thing that they're now also looking at the women's teams and that they are apparently considered as something that's "brand worthy" (even if not to the same degree as the ABs).

    I can only assume this has something to do with the women's silver success at the Olympics and the upcoming Women's Rugby World Cup in 2017.


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