2 Oct 2014

Sport: Tonga 7's have everything to play for

12:10 pm on 2 October 2014

Tonga's new sevens coach acknowledges a lot is riding on his team's performance at this weekend's Oceania Championships in Noosa.

The team is yet to qualify for any World Series tournaments in the upcoming season and must finish as one of the top two non-core teams to qualify for next year's events in Wellington and/or Hong Kong.

Former USA Sevens assistant coach Andrew Katoa has only been with the Tongan squad for two weeks and admits it hasn't been the ideal preparation.

"That's a lot of pressure to put on kids that are 18/19 so we just try to set our goals on this weekend and work real hard towards that first day because if we can get through the first day that's what we are looking at and just trying to be realistic. Our goal right now is to get through that first day and hope for the best in that first day."

Tonga's first match is against hosts Australia tomorrow on Friday afternoon, before taking on Samoa and New Caledonia later in the day.