“Titch” becomes a knight:
Gordon Tietjens (Photosport)
One of New Zealand‘s most successful professional coaches, and most successful Sevens coach ever, is now a knight.
All Black Sevens coach Gordon Tietjens joins former MP and Speaker of Parliament,Lockwood Smith; late Supreme Court judge Robert Chambers and tourism boss John Davies as the newest Knight Companions in today’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Gordon Tietjens has been given his knighthood for services to rugby, an honour he says he didn’t see coming.
“[I’m] still a bit humbled by it, it’s a real shock… I’m still getting over that shock of being knighted.”
He’ll be celebrating the achievement with his family today and while he says he’s not sure if he’ll ask to be called “Sir Titch” just yet, his players will be quick to find out as the team begins pre-World Cup trials tomorrow.
“We go into camp on Tuesday, into a training camp for 20 days for the World Cup,” he says.
Tietjens’ sevens sides have been the team to beat over the years – and his tough training regimes have helped All Blacks and Super Rugby coaches.
“I’ve been coaching now for 19 years and we’ve done pretty ok. We’ve been pretty successful as an All Black Sevens team and it’s recognition no doubt for what our team has achieved over that period… our team has set the benchmark for sevens over the years,” he says.