14 Oct 2016

Sport: Tietjens to be unveiled in Samoa today

8:44 am on 14 October 2016

The former New Zealand rugby sevens coach Sir Gordon Tietjens will be unveiled as the new Samoa sevens coach in a few hours.

Tietjens met with the Samoa Rugby Union board last night, including Chairman and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, to finalise details over his contract.

Gordon Tietjens at the 2016 Rio Olympics 9 August 2016.

Sir Gordon Tietjens spent 22 years in charge of the New Zealand sevens team. Photo: Photosport

RNZ has been told Tietjens will take charge of the team in January, with former Manu Samoa and Samoa sevens coach Stephen Betham as his assistant.

Betham, who coached Samoa to the World Sevens Series title in 2010, is expected to be in charge for the Dubai and Cape Town legs of the World Series in December, with Tietjens travelling as a technical advisor before assuming full responsibility ahead of the Wellington sevens.

Manu Samoa coach Stephen Betham.

Stephen Betham will assist Sir Gordon Tietjens. Photo: AFP

The Samoa Prime Minister was reluctant to confirm Tietjens' appointment during his weekly radio address on Thursday but praised him and said he was the best coach in the world.

A press conference has been scheduled for midday local time at the Prime Minister's office in Apia.

The Samoan Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi speaks at the launching of the new Talofa Airways at Fagalii airport on August 22 2016

Samoa's Prime Minister praised Tietjens during his weekly radio address. Photo: RNZI/Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia