31 Jan 2017

Sport: Sevens tournament in Fiji or Samoa would sell-out - Tietjens

12:48 pm on 31 January 2017

The former New Zealand sevens coach Sir Gordon Tietjens says a World Series tournament in the Pacific would be a guaranteed sell-out.

Less than 10,000 people attended each day of the Wellington tournament over the weekend.

Crowds seen in 2012 and then in 2017.

Crowds at the 2012 and 2017 Wellington Sevens. Photo: Photosport

That was well down on last year's daily attendance of about 14,000, and a far cry from previous years when tickets swiftly sold out.

Sir Gordon Tietjens, who is now in charge of Samoa, won nine Wellington tournaments with the All Blacks Sevens and said the home crowd had a lot to do with their success.

He said if Wellington or New Zealand didn't want the event, it would be a hit in the Pacific.

"[It would] be a great tournament in Apia in Samoa," he said.

"We saw the success of the All Black 15-a-side game when they played Manu Samoa [in Apia in 2015] and of course if a sevens tournament went to Apia it would be a sellout. If it went to Fiji it would also be a sellout."

Tietjens lamented the decline of the Wellington tournament at the weekend, labelling Wellington as "like a ghost town" and the atmosphere "just a shocker."

Wellington Sevens 2017

Photo: Photosport

In 2014 the Fiji Rugby Union expressed an interest in hosting a World Series leg but was overlooked.

Organisers say they will assess the tournament's future in the next few weeks.

Manu Samoa and the All Blacks sing their respective national anthems at the stadium ahead of their rugby match in Apia

Apia Park hosted the All Blacks in 2015. Photo: RNZI / Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

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