Gordon Tietjens

Fitness behind Samoa 7s' rise - Tietjens

After a dismal couple of seasons, Samoa is now a regular contender in tournament quarterfinals, having placed 4th last weekend in Hong Kong, following the high of second place in Las Vegas.

Sixth in the standings prior to this weekend's Singapore Sevens, Sir Gordon said his players had come to understand the level of fitness that's required of them.

"What it's been I think is the consistency around our conditioning. We've worked particularly hard," he said.

Tietjens hits back at Hansen

The two coaches have criticized each other over the handling of All Black fullback Ben Smith in the lead up to the tournament, Tietjens wanted him to play at least two tournaments before the Olympics while Hansen didn't think that wasn't necessary because of his Smith's caliber.

Smith last played sevens when he won gold at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games but Tietjens said the game has changed a lot since then.

Tietjens looking for 'excuses'

In his new book Legacy, Tietjens accuses Hansen and All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster, along with New Zealand Rugby boss Steve Tew, of not giving him the support he needed to lure the likes of Ben Smith, Ardie Savea and Beauden Barrett across to the national sevens team for the Rio campaign.

New Zealand failed miserably at the Olympics after they were knocked out by Fiji at the quarterfinal stage.

Tietjens questioned the governing body's leadership in a year when it publicly stated Olympic gold for both the men's and women's teams were dual priorities.

Samoa 7s no quick-fix - Tietjens

The Manu lost all of their pool matches at the Wellington tournament last weekend and finished in 13th place, the same position they sit on the World Series standings.

Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi who is also Chair of the Samoa Rugby Union, visited the team at their hotel on the weekend to lend his support.

Tietjens said the team appreciated the gesture.

"They realise that it's not a quick fix about getting this team up and running again and getting them up to where they'd like to be," he said.

Gordon Tietjens suggests moving Wellington Sevens to Samoa or Fiji

The Suva Sevens has a nice ring to it.

Former New Zealand sevens coach Gordon Tietjens, now in charge of the Samoan sevens team, has suggested taking the Wellington Sevens to the islands following their dire crowd numbers this past weekend.

He told 1News that a country like Samoa or Fiji would love to host a tournament on the World Rugby Sevens Series.

Just 18,000 out of a possible 70,000 are believed to have attended the annual Wellington event.

Wellington Sevens draw pits Gordon Tietjens' Samoa against former side New Zealand

When New Zealand kick off their Wellington Sevens campaign on January 28, a familiar face will be plotting their downfall from the opposition bench.

Gordon Tietjens, New Zealand's sevens coach of 23 years, takes over as head coach of the Samoan sevens programme from January 1.

His first mission on the rugby field will be a 1.41pm Pool C match against his former side at Wellington's Westpac Stadium.

Standing on the other side of halfway will be two of Tietjens' former players in Tomasi Cama and Scott Waldrom. For 14 minutes they will be anything but friends.

Tietjens excited by potential of Samoa

The 60-year-old, who stepped down last month after 23 years in charge of the New Zealand men's sevens side, and following their quarter-final exit at the Rio Olympics, has been appointed Samoa's new coach.

Tietjens, who led New Zealand to two World Cups, four Commonwealth Games gold medals and 12 World Series crowns, will have former Manu Samoa coach Stephen Betham as his assistant.

"Samoa has huge amount of potential to start progressing in the World Series," he said.