The All Blacks Sevens have a tasty Wellington opener against Gordon Tietjens' Samoans, but interim coach Scott Waldrom is keen not to make a meal of it this Saturday.

"We always knew it would be an interesting subject, but for us it is just one of three games on day one that we need to take of and do well in. In the end, we are playing the players, not what surrounds it," says Waldrom of New Zealand's Pool C opponents, along with France and USA.

Samoa have been the under-achievers of the sevens circuit since they won the 2009-10 World Series, but should be fitter and more well drilled under Tietjens in his first official World Series game in charge of his new team.

Waldrom knows it is a tall order for his own new-look charges to win their fourth consecutive Wellington Cup title and 10th in all since 2000.


"It's definitely a tough pool and to make it worst, you cross over to what is likely to be South Africa or Fiji. We have to get at least two wins to get to day two, but you've got to be beat the best to be the best. Our boys are up for it."

It is unthinkable that New Zealand will miss the Cup quarters, but then overcoming the No 1 (South Africa) and No 3 (Fiji) seeds at that stage may be a bridge too far with this new-look squad.

Waldrom, who holds the reins with Tomasi Cama, played five tournaments for New Zealand, but never in Wellington. He was a party-time spectator not that long ago.

Talk of the demise of the Wellington event, which has, in truth, been swirling for some years, has ramped up again after recent comment from Martin Snedden, but Waldrom has no official view on that. He only has focus on his team and the rugby sevens.

"There's some real energy about the team. They are enjoying it and working hard. I just want to get to game time, but we've got to slowly build our way there and there is work for the new boys to catch up on as well," says Waldrom.

He is not overplaying his hand at trainings, not is he attempting to impart his imprint on the squad.

"I've learnt how much I can rely on the brains of a lot of players. We've got DJ (Forbes), Tim (Mikkelson) and Scott Curry who have been playing for so long. Rather than tell them how to do things, what I want to do is work with him for that common ground on what is best for the team."

He has ambitions as a sevens head coach, but they will go on hold when Clark Laidlaw takes up the reins again in June. He would love to be Laidlaw's 2ic as the group sets sail for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

"I've known Clark for a while since he first came to New Zealand in 2009, so getting to work with him again would be great. He has a lot of experience from different teams and I think it would be a good combination. Ideally I'd love to be a head coach in the future.

I know I have a lot to work on to get to the level where he is at, but hopefully it's a possible succession plan for NZ Sevens in the future."