Conrad Smith and other former All Blacks will line up with French club Pau at next year's Brisbane Global Tens tournament as one of two new teams.

Pau, based in the south of France near the Pyrenees Mountains, will replace Toulon, who competed in this year's inaugural 10-a-side event held at Suncorp Stadium.

Pau are coached by former Wellington and Hurricanes midfielder Simon Mannix, and their roster includes former All Blacks Smith, Colin Slade, Tom Taylor, Benson Stanley, Jamie Mackintosh and Frank Halai.

Former Blues No 8 Peter Saili is also on their books, along with English loose forward Steffon Armitage.


It is understood the agreement with Pau stipulates a commitment to bring Smith, the 94-test centre, and a host of Kiwi stars.

Fiji are also expected to be added to replace South Africa's Bulls. The presence of two Pacific Island teams in the two-day tournament, with Fiji joining Samoa, creates another pathway, albeit short-term, to push for inclusion in Super Rugby beyond the existing broadcasting deal which runs through to 2020.

Fiji now have a team, called Drua, competing in Australia's domestic competition - the National Rugby Championship. Long-term Fiji has aspirations to lead the way and potentially host a Pacific Island-based Super Rugby team.

Other than the new additions the five New Zealand and Australian Super Rugby teams will again take part, though uncertainty abounds about the Force's presence given their on-going courtroom battles with the Australian Rugby Union.

Last year's event was won by the Chiefs, who were inspired by the passing of Sione Lauaki, and given the depth of talent another New Zealand champion will again be heavily favoured.

The timing of the tournament, February 9-10, means the 12-week stand-down period will again apply to the majority of All Blacks selected for the end of year tour.

The same rest period does not apply to the Wallabies, and it is understood one experienced All Black has confirmed his on-field involvement.

This year's tournament will be a day/night event which should offset some of the challenges around Brisbane's scorching summer temperatures, while also encouraging a festival atmosphere.

With the official launch set for next week, Duco Australia chief executive Rachael Carroll was reluctant to confirm the team list.

"This year's inaugural tournament really captured the imagination of rugby fans so there has been a lot of interest and speculation about what will happen in 2018," Carroll said.

"What I can say is that there will again be an incredible line-up of teams stacked with many of the game's greatest players - and some fantastic innovations we are sure rugby fans are going to love."