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Tietjens quietly confident ahead of Olympics

2016-07-26 20:49

Cape Town - New Zealand Sevens head coach Gordon Tietjens is confident his side can win the gold medal at next month's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

With the start of the Games less than two weeks away, Tietjens knows it won't be an easy task to win the Sevens tournament but he believes he has the right players in his squad to achieve that goal. 

"I've always said a good team has got to have a good bench," he told TVNZ.

"I've got a very strong side - I couldn't name my starting seven at the moment. There's lots of competition for places within the side which is healthy, and impact off the bench is going to be vital in Rio."

Tietjens said if players like Sonny Bill Williams, Augustine Pulu, Rieko and Akira Ioane are at their best in Rio then his side will return to New Zealand as Olympic champions.

With New Zealand drawn in a tough pool against Kenya, Great Britain and Japan, Tietjens feels a strong start will be crucial if they want to be successful.

"The very first two games we have, against Japan and Kenya, will certainly give us a really good indication and also build a lot of confidence within the side," he added.

"We've got to start really, really well - that's very important to us."

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