6 Feb 2015

Sport: PNG excited but expecting tough return to Wellington Sevens

3:24 pm on 6 February 2015

Papua New Guinea know things won't come easy on their return to the Wellington Sevens for the first time in four years.

The Pukpuks qualified for the Wellington and Hong Kong tournaments by finishing fifth at last year's Oceania Sevens in Noosa.

The team spent three weeks at a training camp in Fiji but suffered a late blow when head coach Fereti Verebula quit his post just days before the team left for New Zealand.

Team manager Billy Rapilla has stepped up to the top job and says while they lack in experience there will be shortage of effort.

"There's two here - Henry Liliket and Eugene Tokavai - who were here last in 2011. The team is pretty new. A lot of them are very young at the moment - they are the only two guys and they're still young as well. [It's] really exciting times for the sevens in Papua New Guinea and this group of boys as well because they've earned the right to be here, and we're up for it obviously. The expectation is of at least winning a pool match and then performing well on the second day to at least get into the playoffs, anyway, to have that experience under our belt for the first time".

PNG take on England first up on Friday as well as defending champions New Zealand and Canada.