14 Oct 2016

Sport: Tietjens "hugely excited" to take charge of Samoa 7s

12:13 pm on 14 October 2016

Sir Gordon Tietjens has been officially unveiled as the new head coach of the Samoa Sevens team.

The World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee spent 22 years in charge of the All Black Sevens, winning four Commonwealth Games gold medals, and two World Cups and 12 World Series titles, before stepping down last month.

Sir Gordon said he is looking forward to the challenge.

"I am hugely excited to be joining the boys in blue," he said.

"Samoa Sevens has always represented their country with pride, passion and a great natural talent in rugby and I am massively motivated to help them achieve their goal to be a consistent top performer on the world stage. "

Sir Gordon Tietjens has been appointed head coach of the Samoa sevens team.

Sir Gordon Tietjens has been appointed head coach of the Samoa sevens team. Photo: Samoa Rugby Union

Samoa Rugby Union Chair Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said Sir Gordon's appointment was a great coup for Samoan rugby.

"We know that there was much competition to secure the services of such a prestigious figure in world rugby sevens," he said.

"In entrusting our beloved sevens team to Sir Gordon, we know we have a coach who understands how important rugby is to our people, and he has a deep appreciation for how to get the best out of the talent we know we have.

Sir Gordon said he has some commitments he needs to complete before making the transition to Samoa.

He won't take charge of the Samoa team until January but Tuilaepa said they plan to begin his orientation into the SRU programme as soon as possible.

"We are very excited about this appointment as we believe his unique ability to uncover new talent, his coaching prowess, and his proven ability to lead world-champion campaigns, will help us to realise our potential on the world stage."

SRU Director of Coaching and Manu Samoa Head Coach Namulauulu Alama Ieremia said they were ecstatic to have such a high calibre coach on board.

"He is world class and will take our sevens programme to the next level," he said.

"In addition, his experience will move us forward as a Union by fast tracking our development of both players and coaches. I'm looking forward to getting alignment with Gordon and I'm sure there will be some excited players ready to put their best foot forward for Samoa Rugby."

Former Manu Samoa and Samoa Sevens coach Stephen Betham will assist Sir Gordon with Manusina coach Ramsey Tomokino as team manager.

Betham, who coached Samoa to the 2010 World Sevens Series title, will be acting head coach for the Dubai and Cape Town legs of the World Series in December.