31 Jan 2008

Samoa hoping to defend their title but will have to face hosts New Zealand first

11:28 am on 31 January 2008

The Wellington rugby sevens champions Samoa believe the home team will be the ones to beat in the New Zealand leg of the IRB world series starting tomorrow at Westpac Stadium.

Samoa beat Fiji in last year's final, but with a spate of injuries and five new players, coach Rudolf Moors believes his young side might struggle.

Samoa face New Zealand in pool play on Friday, and Moors says while there are several leading contenders, there's a clear favourite.

"I think New Zealand's the team to beat because they got two victories in the last tournament so for us we try to play hard and yeah we see what happens on Friday."

New Zealand has won the first two rounds of the IRB series.