30 Sep 2014

Sport: Tonga sevens team in race against time

4:10 pm on 30 September 2014

Tonga's new sevens coach admits preparations have been far from ideal leading into this weekend's Oceania Sevens at Noosa on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

The former USA Sevens assistant coach Andrew Katoa says he's excited about the challenge of improving the Tongan team, who failed to win a match during appearance at the Gold Coast and Wellington legs of last year's World Series.

The team is yet to qualify for any events in the upcoming season and must finish as one of the top two teams this weekend outside of New Zealand, Australia, Fiji and Samoa, to earn a spot at next year's Wellington or Hong Kong tournaments.

Andrew Katoa only arrived in Tonga less than two weeks ago and has already given the squad an overhaul.

"When i got here the team was selected so we kind of went through another selection process with me here. After seeing our domestic competition about a week ago, from that I went ahead and kind of re-selected the squad a little bit. It's kind of caused a little turmoil here [but]

I'm just trying to see guys for myself and trying to make the right decisions for myself".

Tonga have a difficult draw in the Oceania tournament, with Samoa, Australia and New Caledonia in their pool on day one.