Rebuilding troubles for New Zealand

Date published: October 14 2014

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New Zealand Sevens head coach Gordon Tietjens admits that a lot of work is required for his side to retain their World Series title.

New Zealand Sevens head coach Gordon Tietjens admits that a lot of work is required for his side to retain their World Series title.

So dominant in the sport in recent times, Tietjens has retained the established trio of Tim Mikkelson, Tomasi Cama and captain DJ Forbes but has also been forced to bring in new players.

A quarter-final exit against England at the Gold Coast Sevens last weekend, when the champions were well beaten, gave Tietjens some added cause for concern.

The conclusion of the ITM Cup will give New Zealand a better idea of who is available, but Tietjens admits he is ‘blending a new team.’

“It was thoroughly disappointing to lose to England in the quarter-final, but it’s also a concern looking at how tough the World Series is going to be this year,” Tietjens told Stuff.

”We bounced back well and finished strong, I suppose, after that loss, and I guess the positives out of that are that we comfortably beat Samoa who went on to the final, so that’s just how tough it is.

”The Gold Coast is always one of the toughest tournaments for us, because with the way Super Rugby contracting and the domestic season is, we don’t have a full compliment of players to work with.

”Once that all finishes up, we’ll have a better idea of where we sit and where we are going this year.

“We’ve already lost Ben Lam, Bryce Heem, Ambrose Curtis, guys like that, so we’ve got to try and replace those guys.

”Perhaps, because we’ve won it, over 15 series and winning it 12 times, it’s a fantastic record but you can’t just live off that.

”People may not acknowledge just how hard sevens is, and you also take into consideration that, A, this is the first, and B, I’m trying to blend a new team basically.”

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