Tietjens quits after 22 years

Gordon Tietjens has stepped down as coach of the New Zealand sevens team after 22 years in charge.

The 60-year-old, who led the All Black sevens side to four Commonwealth Games gold medals, 12 World Rugby Sevens Series titles and two Sevens World Championships, decided not to renew his contract. He weighed up his options after the Olympic Games in Rio, he says, and felt the time was right for a fresh challenge.

'I love the 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,' Tietjens said. 'We were all incredibly disappointed with our results in Rio, but we have to acknowledge just how far sevens rugby has come.

'I aim to still be involved in some capacity. I’m now working through what those next steps are. 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,' he added.

The process to find a suitable replacement for Tietjens has started, with his successor expected to take the team into the new season which starts in Dubai on 2 December.

Photo: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

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Mariette Adams