Sevens -The golden warm-up
With only 11 days to go until the Commonwealth Games, 2 of the IRB Series heavyweights clash in the Oceania Sevens, the perfect warm-up for their golden aspirations.
Two of the principle contenders for Rugby Commonwealth Games gold will line up against each other just one week before the tournament at the Oceania Sevens in Darwin's Austar Rugby Park.
The schedule for the 2010 Oceania Sevens, on 1-2 October, with reigning World Series champions Samoa and third-ranked Australia up against the likes of Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Niue, Cook Islands, Vanuatu and Tahiti, while local Northern Territory select sides will also compete.
World number one Samoa top Pool A which also features Papua New Guinea, Niue and Tahiti. Australia, meanwhile, have been drawn in Pool B against dangerous Tonga, Cook Islands and Vanuatu.
The seedings are based on both the current IRB Sevens World Series standings and the final standings at the 2009 Oceania Sevens Tournament in Tahiti.
"The Oceania region is the most competitive Sevens environment in the world and the Oceania Sevens Championship will showcase not only the excitement of Sevens Rugby, but the skill and class of the nations from this region that are world famous exponents of the game," said William Glenwright, Tournament Director and IRB General Manager, Oceania.
"With two of the top three teams in the world competing, together with other world class Pacific Island nations, many of whom have experienced success on the IRB Sevens World Series circuit, this will be an outstanding tournament."
Australia, like Samoa, Tonga and Papua New Guinea, will use the Oceania tournament as key preparation in their bid to claim a first-ever Commonwealth Games gold medal on 11-12 October and prise the title from New Zealand's grasp.
We will bring you all the images and stories from the Oceania Sevens on this site.