Sir Gordon Tietjens eyes Olympic swansong
24 July, 2018, 5:40 pm
APIA, 24 JULY 2018 (SAMOA OBSERVER) – Legendary Kiwi coach Sir John Gordon Tietjens will retire after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in what will be his last World Cup in charge of a side.
Sir Gordon told TVNZ One news that he will definitely end his association with the sport after the 2020 Olympics.
“That would be my last swansong, that’s for sure,” he said.
“But it’s a great game, it’s been good to me over the years.”
Sir Gordon joined the Samoan sevens team as head coachin 2016 after drawing down the curtain on the greatest sevens tenure in history, where he guided New Zealand to 12 World Series titles, two Rugby World Cup Sevens titles and four Commonwealth Games gold medals.
A gold medal in sevens rugby at the Olympic Games level continues to evade the 62-year-old coach, with New Zealand under his tenure only making it to the quarterfinals in Rio to loose 12-7 to eventual gold medal winner Fiji.
While results on the field with Samoa have not been the same, Sir Gordon has still managed significant strides, including getting players contracted.
“Contracting the players has been a real positive in the sense that we retain the players, we just won’t lose them overnight, which has happened in the past,” he said.
One of those players, Neria Fomai, says he’s benefited from working with Kiwi coach.
“It’s been good, especially for us islander boys, we sort of take shortcuts at times, but he makes sure none of us do that at training,” he said.