Sir Gordon Tietjens, Samoa sevens coach, has announced that he will step down after his contract expires in August 2020.
The 64-year-old has stated that it is the best time to leave the role. It will provide Samoa with the time to find a suitable replacement. The Kiwi legend has had little success with Samoa. Their best finish was an overall sixth-place finish in the 2018/19 season under Tietjens.
“With so much uncertainty, the best solution moving forward would be to step down and allow Samoa Rugby to plan for the future,” a Samoa Rugby Union statement.
The remaining tournament of the 2019/20 World Sevens Series has been cancelled. World Rugby was forced to act due to the limitation of international travel. Likewise, the Tokyo Olympics were postponed at the end of March. Therefore, the lack of a sevens rugby calendar has contributed to Tietjen’s decision.
“With the cancellation of the Olympics and four tournaments more than likely to be cancelled from the 2019/2020 series the timing I felt was right to step down so they could look for a new head coach,” Tietjens said in the statement.
Tietjens added, “I thoroughly enjoyed my time coaching the Manu Samoa 7’s team and I thank the Samoa Rugby Union for giving me this opportunity as it’s been an absolute honour and privilege to have been involved over the last 3 years.”
In 2012 Tietjens was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame. His 22-year stint as the All Blacks sevens coach was immensely successful. He guided them to 12 World Series titles, four Commonwealth Games gold medals, and two Sevens World Cup crowns.