DEFENDING champions Wardens will face an acid test in their bid to retain the Uprising Fiji sevens title following a tough draw yesterday.
The Ministry of Health-sponsored side is the top seed in Pool A which has FWCC Red Rock, Tokatoka Barbarians and Yamacia.
The Lote Rasiga-coached Red Rock is running hot following their win at the Coral Coast 7s last year.
Pio Tuwai's Tokatoka Barbarians, formerly known as the Westfield Babas, had a storming season last year following triumphs in the major domestic tournaments and culminating with the lucrative win at the Central Coast 7s in Australia.
Yamacia is a team with unknown players which is coached by former Flying Fijian Aisea Tuilevu and assisted by Vilimoni Delasau.
In Pool B, Alifereti Dere-coached Digicel Fiji Barbarians is the top seed and will face TCC Tonga, LICI Police and Lomaiviti Barbarians.
Former Fiji 7s assistant coach Etuate Waqa is expected to bring a tough Tongan side to prepare for the Wellington 7s while the Manasa Bari-coached Police is expected to turn heads with some former national 7s reps guiding the team.
Lomaiviti Barbarians, which unearthed latest 7s sensation Benito Eremasi, is expected to topple some big guns in the tournament.
Samoa leads Pool C which has the Aussie Thunderbolts, Lautoka Hurricanes and Samurai Barracudas.
Samoa and Michael O'Connor's Thunderbolts are using the Uprising 7s to prepare for the Wellington 7s and Lautoka Hurricanes and Samurai Barracudas are expected to give them a good build-up.
Pool D has Gordon Tietjens' New Zealand Emerging 7s, FMF Fiji Warriors, URF Army and Uprising 7s. Uprising 7s will have former Fiji 7s rep Metuisela Talebula and Avenisi Vasuinubu.