Bay of Plenty has never won the men's national sevens title.

It is a statistic head coach Paul Tietjens wants to end in Rotorua in mid-January.

"It is always in the back of Bay of Plenty's mind that they have never won the national title," he said.

"I am looking forward to the challenge ahead. We need to be pretty switched on, especially with the qualifiers in three weeks that will give us our seedings for the nationals.


"That would be a huge highlight in my early career if I could lead the boys to a national cup title. On any given day a team can beat any other team in sevens."

No surprises that the son of legendary sevens coach Sir Gordon Tietjens puts a premium on fitness and conditioning.

"The top team I have selected is definitely one that is very, very fit and that creates a really good culture with players working hard for each other and together as a unit. That is first and foremost the most important thing for me as a coach," Tietjens said.

"We started training six weeks ago under Tim Wilson, our strength and conditioning trainer at Athlete Factory, and we basically have been focusing on conditioning the first three weeks to get a base fitness.

"The last three to four weeks has been focused on the style of play and looking at players on attack and defensively as well. We are looking for good decision makers and how they look to attack space and make good decisions under fatigue."

There are plenty of top-class players in the Bay of Plenty squad with some of the All Blacks Sevens players able to slot back in before the nationals.

Tietjens says he is looking for X-factor players like Te Aihe Toma, Elijah Nicholas and Josh Honey who can break a game open out of nothing.

"They are really important but at the same time I want players who can provide that grunt up front and work off the ball and do the basics really well. I am really fortunate to have guys within the New Zealand squad who are based here. Obviously they will be selected based on their availability."

Aside from coaching Bay of Plenty, Tietjens has joined forces with his father Gordon who is head coach of the Samoan sevens team.

Since October Tietjens has been the team's strength and conditioning trainer and after overseeing Bay of Plenty's performance at the Cambridge Sevens tomorrow he flies out to Dubai with Samoa.

He will miss the qualifiers for the Bay but then is back right through until the nationals.

"I have been over to the islands a couple of times and went to the Oceania tournament in Fiji as build-up to the world series. I definitely think it is benefiting me in a huge way.

"I am dealing with professional players and being exposed to that environment on the world circuit as regards to training loads, the different skill sets of the players and just the increased intensity, has been a real eye-opener for me.

"Obviously working under Titch I am very lucky to be learning every time I step on to the training pitch."