Sevens

Sonny Bill pays tribute to 'Titch'

2016-09-06 12:21
Sonny Bill Williams (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams has paid tribute to retiring New Zealand Sevens coach, Sir Gordon Tietjens.

Tietjens on Tuesday announced he was stepping down from the role after an incredible 22 years at the helm.

Tietjens, 60, led New Zealand to four Commonwealth Games gold medals, 12 World Rugby Sevens Series titles and two Sevens World Championship titles, becoming the most successful coach of all time in the abbreviated form of the game.

He was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2012 and knighted for his contribution to rugby 12 months later.

Several great All Blacks have emerged from the teams he has coached, most notably Jonah Lomu and Christian Cullen.

Williams, 31, took to Twitter on Tuesday to pay tribute to Tietjens, writing how proud he was to have been coached by the Sevens maestro.

Williams played in six World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments as well as the recent Rio Olympics as Sevens made its debut.

Unfortunately for Williams, he suffered a partial tear of his Achilles, ruling him out the Olympics as New Zealand endured a miserable campaign, failing to qualify for the semi-finals having been favoured to end the tournament on the podium.

Williams' injury forced him out of the ongoing Rugby Championship as well as the All Blacks' end of year tour to the USA and UK.

Williams' legion of fans will be happy to hear however that his rehab is progressing well and he's back in the gym.

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