S Tietjens
Tietjens to end his time as Samoa 7s coach
By Raga House | Tue 19 May, 2020 14:09

Former New Zealand Sevens coach Sir Gordon Tietjens is stepping away from his Samoa Sevens coaching role.

Tietjens did not seek to renew his role as Samoa Sevens head coach to allow the Pacific nation to plan for the future. He will finish up with Samoa when his contract expires in August, according to RNZ.

"With so much uncertainty as to when the HSBC World Sevens would continue the best solution moving forward would be to step down to allow Samoa Rugby to plan for the future.

"With the cancellation of the Olympics and four tournaments more than likely to be cancelled from the 2019/2020 series, the timing I felt was right to step down so they could look for a new head coach," Tietjens told RNZ.

Tietjens said the decision came following discussions with Samoa Rugby Union chief executive Vincent Fepuleai. With the Covid-19 shutdown, Tietjens has almost certainly coached Samoa for the final time

Tietjens, regarded as the pioneer of New Zealand's highly successful sevens programme, spent 22 years in charge of the New Zealand Sevens team before retiring from the job following a disappointing fifth-place finish at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

One month later he was named as Samoa's head sevens coach after Kenya had also chased his services.

He took over the Samoa role on January 1, 2017.

Tietjens, an icon of the sevens game worldwide, told RNZ it was an "honour and privilege" to be in charge of Samoa for more than three years.

Samoa Rugby Union chair and Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, said Tietjens standing down would allow Samoa to secure its future direction for its sevens team.

"We thank the legendary coach for taking the time to help with our Manu Samoa Sevens team over the last three seasons...we wish Sir Gordon, Lady Julia and their family all the best for the future," Tuilaepa told RNZ.

During his two-decade reign as New Zealand coach, the team won 12 world series titles, four Commonwealth Games gold medals and two sevens World Cups.

But Tietjens only coached Samoa to one world series final and under his guidance, the team did not win a major championship title.

-Stuff Rugby 

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