2012 Adi Salusalu champions Wadigi Barbarians are the top seed for the first ever Subrails Vitogo 7s which starts in Lautoka today.
The two-day event will serve as a fundraiser for the Vitogo District School.
Tournament co-ordinator Tirani Uluinakauvadra said they had been forced to reduce the number of teams to 16 after clubs from Nadi pulled out.
He said their tournament coincided with the Mount Saint Marys 7s in Nadi.
"The withdrawal will not affect us," Uluinakauvadra said.
"The Nadi clubs have opted to participate in the Mount Saint Mary's tournament because it will save them travel expenses. For us this is our first tournament.
"We are starting on a small scale. Recently we upgraded our Vitogo District School ground.
"The school serves as an evacuation centre during natural disasters. We have a project going with the construction of a toilet block nearer to the evacuation hall.
"So the proceeds raised from the tournament will go towards completing that project.
"This tournament will also give the youngsters in the village a chance to watch live 7s action right on their doorstep.
"This in a way will help in the development of the youths. After this we hope to stage the tournament annually."
Natabua Gold, Hideaway and Mala Young Boys are the other favourites in the tournament which will kick-off at 9am at the Vitogo District School ground.
The winner will receive $1,000.