AN ADDED international flavour will make for a more competitive field at this weekend's Noosa Sevens, the defending champion men's team captain says.
Thunderbolts captain Ed Jenkins (pictured) said this year would be tougher than last.
"Defending the cup is going to be a lot tougher than it was winning it last year," he said.
"It should be a competitive field, and that's what we want."
The $20,000 tournament has attracted some of the southern hemisphere's top teams, including reigning Fiji sevens champions Matai Red Rock, plus the Hong Kong national team.
A host of other Pacific teams will compete.
Jenkins said the Fijians would be a force to be reckoned with.
"It's their first sport. They're going to be hard to get by," he said. "It will be a physical battle."
Jenkins said his team were training hard, especially on their defence.
"If we get it right the results will go our way," he said.
The Thunderbolts had an extended squad out for training yesterday at the tournment's venue, Noosa Dolphins' field, with developmental players being called up.
SOME will play in other sides during this weekend's tournament.
The event precedes the Gold Coast's Festival of Rugby, an eight-day sevens carnival from November 19 that ends with the inaugural Gold Coast Sevens Fever Pitch tournament.
The Gold Coast tournament is the first leg of the Sevens World Series and will attract the world's leading sides.
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