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Sir Gordon formally knighted for services to rugby

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James Mortimer     16 Sep 2013     Getty Images

Sir Gordon, now a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, the second highest honour in its class.

The coach of the All Blacks Sevens since 1994, Sir Gordon joins after notable members of the New Zealand Rugby fraternity, with the late Fred Allen and Wilson Whineray knighted for their service to the game, while of late Sir Graham Henry and Sir John Kirwan have been included in the illustrious list.

“Titch” as he is widely known within rugby circles, could lay claim to being the greatest Sevens coach of all time.

He has won two Sevens Rugby World Cups, four Commonwealth Games Medals and a remarkable 11 overall IRB Sevens World Series crowns.

New Zealand Rugby re-signed Sir Gordon to take the All Blacks Sevens through to Rio de Janeiro in 2016, and Chief Executive Steve Tew paid tribute to the coach when initially receiving the recognition.

“We are really pleased Titch’s efforts have been recognised in this way.

“His record speaks volumes for his uncanny ability to produce consistent winning teams. Not only that, he has had a huge impact on the way the game is now played and how appealing it has become to fans around the world.

“We have been extremely fortunate to have a coach of his calibre guiding our sevens since 1994 and are also pleased he is sticking with us through to Rio in 2016. So well done Titch, you are a great ambassador for rugby and fully deserve this honour.”

While Sir Gordon admitted he got a bit of stick from his All Blacks Sevens charges when the honour was announced, he said it was indicative of the powerful culture within the team.