The Samoa Independence International 7s kicks off at Apia Park Stadium today.
Sixteen teams have been confirmed for this year’s tournament.
An ava ceremony conducted by the Samoa Tourism Authority at S.T.A Village Fale yesterday welcomed all the teams.
Eight new teams have registered for the tournament.
Seumanu Douglas Ngau Chun, SII 7s Organizing Committee member briefed all the teams’ representatives about the Competition Programme this year.
The top four teams from last year will lead each pool.
These teams include defending Champion Ulalei Vaiala, Moata’a, Apia Maroons and Taveuni from Fiji.
Sportslotto Pool A will feature Taveuni from Fiji, Vikings Development, Leone Whites from American Samoa and the Urban Barbarians.
Vikings Development team will feature five school boys from Savai’i that won Samoa a gold medal from the Youth Commonwealth Games recently in Bahamas.
Taveuni from Fiji is the top seed in Pool A. They are the hot favourites with having won the recent Coral Coast Sevens in Fiji.
Business System Limited Pool B features Moata’a as the top seed with the PPS Vikings, Tufulele and Salani.
Defending champions Ulalei Vaiala leads the Vaitele Spring Water Pool C, alongside with another Fijian team Naduku, St Pierre from Malotau and Puaotoa team.
These two teams are new to the competition.
Ministry of Works Transport and Infrastructure Pool D features Apia Maroons, Satalo, Nations and Toa Mulifanua.
The main guest of this year’s tournament is the Chief Executive of World Rugby Referees Sir Paddy O’Brien.