Legendary sevens coach Sir Gordon Tietjens has decided not to seek a new contract after 22 years at the helm of the All Black Sevens team.
“Titch has guided the All Blacks Sevens team through more than 100 international tournaments, a remarkable achievement that may never be equalled," said New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew.
“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."
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."
Sir Gordon has led New Zealand to four Commonwealth Games gold medals, 12 World Rugby Sevens Series titles and two Rugby World Cup Sevens titles, becoming the most successful coach of all time in the abbreviated form of the game.