Author(s): Gordon Tietjens
Gordon 'Titch' Tietjens, pioneer of the global sevens game, is one of New Zealand's greatest ever rugby coaches. His many accolades - including 12 IRB World Series, two IRB Rugby World Cups and four Commonwealth Games gold medals - easily place him alongside the likes of Fred Allen, Brian Lochore, Graham Henry and Steve Hansen. Players and the public were dumbfounded, then, by the New Zealand Sevens team's dire showing at the 2016 Rio Olympics, which saw them knocked out at the quarter-finals, swiftly followed by Tietjens' shock departure from the franchise after a hugely influential 22 years at the helm. Legacy charts Tietjens' glory on the world stage, his knack for spotting and cultivating the next rugby stars, insights into leadership and management strategies, reflections on his induction into the IRB Hall of Fame and 2013 knighthood, the decision to leave the New Zealand team to coach Samoa, and his thoughts on the future of the game. Frank and impassioned, Legacy is a tell-all memoir by a revered sporting figure - one with a lot to say.
Under coach Sir Gordon Tietjens, the New Zealand sevens team became the most successful in the history of the sport. During his tenure, it won four Commonwealth Games gold medals, 12 World Series Sevens titles and two IRB Sevens World Championships. An incredible leader, he was a mentor for the All Blacks careers of such stars as Jonah Lomu, Christian Cullen, Mils Muliaina, Joe Rokocoko, Cory Jane, Ben Smith and Julian Savea. In 2012, Tietjens became the first sevens coach to be inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame and, in 2013, was knighted for services to the game.Tietjens stepped down as head coach of the New Zealand sevens team in 2016, following its early exit from the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. He is now coach of the Samoa sevens team.Tietjens lives in Tauranga with his wife Jules.