31 Aug 2011

Sport: Rugby sevens to kick off in Noumea

12:05 pm on 31 August 2011

A place in the world series is up for grabs when rugby sevens kicks off at the Pacific Games in Noumea this afternoon.

Fiji and Samoa qualify automatically but the next two best teams will secure a place at Novembers Gold Coast Sevens.

Our reporter in New Caledonia, Vinnie Wylie, says it should create some intense competition.

"Papua New Guinea are the only other team to have featured on the world series circuit on a regular basis in recent years, having competed in Wellington and Adelaide earlier this year."

The Tonga and Cook Islands men's teams also featured in Wellington but haven't travelled to New Caledonia, leaving the way open for the likes of Niue and Solomon Islands to stake a claim for the vacant spots.

Today's men action is a largely one-sided affair with Melanesian rivals Vanuatu and Solomon Islands due to clash, while Samoa are drawn with neighbours American Samoa.

In the women's draw Papua New Guinea are first up against New Caledonia with Samoa and Fiji to clash late afternoon.