Tietjens signs on for Olympics
Wellington - Rugby Sevens legend Gordon Tietjens will coach New Zealand at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics after signing a four-year contract extension, officials said on Wednesday.
Tietjens, the most successful coach in Sevens history, will remain at the helm until 2017, meaning he will travel to Brazil when the short form of the game makes its Olympic debut, the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) said.
"One of the key components of our Olympic campaign is to have the very best coaches on board - we now have that in Gordon, who is without a doubt the world's best Sevens coach," NZRU chief executive Steve Tew said.
Tietjens has coached the New Zealand Sevens team since 1994, winning nine IRB world Sevens titles and four Commonwealth gold medals.
"Taking part in the Olympic Games will be the pinnacle of my career and something that all coaches and athletes aspire to," the 57-year-old said.
"I still have the same passion and enjoyment for the game of Sevens that I had when I began coaching and I am incredibly proud of the role Sevens has played in the development of rugby players in New Zealand."
The seven-a-side version of the game has long been regarded as a distant second best to the XVs game, but will receive a huge profile boost when it is included in the Olympics programme for the first time in 2016.