Tietjens: "The fans want it and we want it"
According to coach Gordon Tietjens there is no tougher tournament for his New Zealand players to play than their home NZI Sevens in Wellington.
Home expectations are enormous and this year, with rugby fever mounting as the World Cup approaches, the pressures on the hosts to strike gold are more pronounced than ever.
"We're a passionate rugby country, all the fans want us to win it and we want to win it for them," said Tietjens, eight times the winner of the World Series.
"Putting things into perpective there are six or seven teams who can win this tournament. Fiji and Samoa played very well last year, they like playing here and get a lot of support, and of course England are coming here with a very good side as well."
New Zealand have won their home event four times since the inaugural Wellington outing in 2000. No side has been successful here on more occasions, but there have been four different winners here in the last four years and the kiwis' last success came in 2007.
"We know that every time a team plays New Zealand they've got nothing to lose. They can get out and give it their best and for us every game we play is a final," added Tietjens.
New Zealand line up on day one in Pool B against Scotland, Argentina and Papua New Guinea.
Gordon Tietjens assesses the chances of the four sides currently riding high in the World Series....
England (HSBC Sevens World Series leaders, 44 points)
England have got a really good, balanced side. They've got contracted Sevens players who are Sevens-conditioned, which makes them more of a threat. Pace, size and power - they've got it all when they can put it together, like they did in Dubai.
We were pretty lucky to beat them (in the George final) but we learnt a lot from losing to them in the semi final in Dubai, which made us a better team and hopefully our players will kick on from that.
They're a good team, their coach Ben Ryan's been pretty consistent with his selections since the Comm Games - they've only got one change from the first two tournaments and that was through injury - so they'll be a real threat here in Wellington.
New Zealand (2nd, 40 points)
There's a lot of pressure on my side here, the 'P' word has certainly been mentioned a few times. My players did very well in the last two events, outdid all my expectations really to come away second in the World Series, and I hope we've grown from that tournament.
We've worked very hard, had some pretty ruthless training sessions in the last two weeks and if we can come here, get out there and play well as a team and realise our potential then we can go very, very close. Whatever happens I know that my boys will empty the tank and give everything they have for the home fans.
Samoa (3rd, 36 points)
There is no tougher team to play against and everyone will want to do well in this tournament because going to Vegas next week the size of the narrow pitch really plays into Samoa's hands, as we say last year. You never ever take your eyes off Samoa and, like Fiji, they've been playing Sevens over the past two weeks in Fiji.
Fiji (4th, 32 points)
In the world of Sevens rugby there are more good players in Fiji than probably anywhere else, they have more depth than any other nation. I was over there two weeks ago at a big international invitational tournament that they held and it's crazy when you see the Fijian national side not even making the championship matches.
The tournament was won by the Red Rock side against the Fijian Army and the Police were in the semis. The other sides, including the USA and Samoan representative sides, were beaten in the quarter finals and that says it all.
The big challenge for Fiji is getting their selection right, they have so many players, they need to look at the type of game they want to play, look at the talent they've got and put the right players out on the park. If they do that, they're capable of anything, as we saw last year when they took the NZI Sevens title.