Tietjens "the best coach" - Karl Te Nana

By Raniera Harrison

All Blacks Sevens coach Gordon Tietjens has stepped down as the head coach of the national sevens side after 22 years in the role.

Twenty-two years at the pinnacle of New Zealand sevens has come to an end.

"It's the culture, that I've certainly enjoyed right with people right by my side. To me, the culture has been the main reason we've been so successful.

The game is ruthless. It comes down to the defining moments, a call, a decision-making process that doesn't go the right way for you during the game of Sevens," Tietjens says. 

Under his tenure, the side has won four Commonwealth Games gold medals, two Rugby World Cup Sevens titles and 12 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. But a former NZ Sevens player questions whether NZRU provided enough support for the team's Olympic campaign. 

Former All Blacks Sevens player Karl Te Nana says, "Titch deserved better, he's done so much for the game of rugby, not just for sevens you know, and I know when you speak about sevens, the first name on everyone's mind is Gordon Tietjens, because he's taken it to stratospheres, he's taken it to countries that 15 won't."

Amongst the numerous players, he has provided a platform for 74 players who have gone on to become All Blacks.

"He was the best. My best coach. 15s or 7s I've ever been apart of.There's a lot of things that Gordon makes you do that gets the best out of you," Te Nana adds.

However, the ultimate prize of an Olympic gold medal eluded the first sevens coach to be knighted and inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame.

Tietjens says "I've seen the game of sevens grow so much over the years, and we've all seen how competitive it is now."

It is still unclear when New Zealand Rugby will advertise for the head coaching role of the All Blacks Sevens side.

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