Rugby Rugby

Take Welly Sevens to Samoa or Fiji – Tietjens

Fiji’s Samisoni Viriviri (left) is tackled by South Africa’s Branco du Preez during their IRB rugby sevens at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on January 28, 2017

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Jan 30- Samoa Sevens head coach Sir Gordon Tietjens has suggested taking the Wellington Sevens to Samoa or Fiji.

Just 18,000 out of a possible 70,000 spectators are believed to have attended the 2017 Wellington tournament at the weekend and Tietjens believes a Pacific island nation would love to host the annual event.

“There was just no atmosphere and no people there,” Tietjens told New Zealand’s 1News.

“If you look back over a number of years, Wellington was really great to play. Every team gets up when playing in front of a huge crowd like that, and not to have anyone there this year was sad because that tournament used to be very very good.

“Perhaps take it to the islands. I’m sure they’d love it.

“Samoa would surely jump at it, to run a sevens tournament like that. Fiji would jump at it, you know. Take it somewhere they really see the value in having a sevens tournament in their country.”

After hosting the All Blacks in a historic Test at Apia Park in 2015, Samoa could host a Sevens tournament at the venue while Fiji’s national stadium in Suva can hold about 20,000 fans.

If Wellington does not host the tournament anymore, Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium and the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton are other options in New Zealand.