Tonga sevens coach Tevita Tuifua says his team have been dealt no favours ahead of the London qualifier tournament, which kicks off this evening.
The Kingdom one of eight teams competing in the qualifier event playing for three permanent places on next year's World Series.
In their pool are Spain and Portugal, who've spent the past year as full members on the global circuit, along with Russia, who will host next month's Sevens World Cup.
Their build-up hasn't been helped by the absence of regular coach Etuate Waqa, due to visa issues, and a lack of game-time.
Tevita Tuifua says they have a big task ahead of them and just have to get on with it.
"I think we do have the strongest pool out of the two but I guess everyone will have second life for the final day as well so we will give it our best shot on the first day and hopefully we will achieve our goal on our pool games. We're only looking forward now for the weekend. I know it hurts for the boys but what else are we going to do - we're here to play to give it our best shot on the day - so I'n sure the boys have been looking forward to it."
Meanwhile in the main London Sevens tournament Fiji and Samoa are in the same pool, alongside hosts England and Argentina.