Saturday 29 October 2011 | Published in Regional
Hometown favourites Samoa have both experience and form on their side ahead of the 2011 Oceania Sevens Championship, which kicked off in Apia yesterday.
The fourth edition of the tournament is the qualifying event for regional non-core teams to participate in the fourth and sixth rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Wellington and Hong Kong in 2012, and has drawn almost all of the top teams in the region.
Fiji, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, American Samoa and New Caledonia make up Pool A while the Samoans are joined by Australia, Cook Islands, Niue and Solomon Islands in Pool B at Apia Park.
HSBC Sevens World Series champions New Zealand will not be participating in the event. The Stephen Betham-coached Samoans edged Fiji 21-19 in the Pacific Games in Noumea in early September and have named eight of that squad for Apia.
Defending Oceania champions Australia field a young squad in Apia.