THE Wardens are optimistic of successfully defending the Uprising Fiji International 7s tournament title today without their stars from last year.
Joji Ragamate, Ilai Tinai and Niko Verekauta featured in the win last year at National Stadium in Suva.
The trio are with the Fiji 7s team vying for a spot for the third leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Wellington and Las Vegas next month.
Wardens team manager Jo Vosanibola said they had a mission to accomplish today at Churchill Park in Lautoka.
"We are here to defend the title and it's good to see all teams coming really prepared to the tournament," he said.
"Tomorrow (today) will be another day and we will take the game as it comes. These young boys are playing well and they can replace our players that have joined the national team."
Wardens made a disappointing start to the 2013 Uprising 7s losing to Yamacia 14-17 in the first game.
The team bounced back to win their remaining two matches against Tokatoka Barbarians and Red Rock. "The boys lacked the concentration in the first game but we told them to get their focus into the games which resulted in the two wins."
Vosanibola said they expected a tough game from the Digicel Fiji Barbarians in the quarters today.
He added the players would put their bodies on the line to remain in contention for their second Uprising 7s title.
Uprising Fiji International 7s Day 1 Photos