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
"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."