Beale rates French side a Tens threat
RUGBY UNION: The Brumbies, Crusaders, Hurricanes and tournament first-timers Fiji have been drawn together in a group of death at the 2018 Brisbane Global Rugby Tens.
The draw in Brisbane yesterday also featured Japan's Panasonic Wild Knights in Pool A along with the Reds, Rebels and Blues while Pool B comprises defending champions the Chiefs, Waratahs, Highlanders and another new club in French outfit Pau.
Pau's squad includes former All Blacks Conrad Smith, Colin Slade, Jamie McIntosh, Benson Stanley and Frank Halai as well as former Wallabies skipper Ben Mowen.
The tournament will be held at Suncorp Stadium on February 9-10.
"The wildcard will be Pau for sure,” Waratahs star Kurtley Beale (pictured) said. "I'm sure Conrad Smith will lead these guys and look to have a good tournament.”
Reds prop James Slipper said he was glad to avoid Fiji, whose prowess in rugby Sevens make them an obvious threat in Tens.
"We've got a tough pool but I am pretty excited about it,” Slipper said. "I was a bit worried we'd end up in pool C with the Fijians.”
There will also be a women's tournament featuring the Brumbies, Rebels, Queensland and NSW.
"Today's draw underlines the fact that rugby fans are in for a spectacular experience in 2018,” tournament chief executive Rachael Carroll said.
"The men's competition will be just as action packed and thrilling as it was earlier this year, while the expanded women's tournament will be a real highlight.
"Once again, the action on the pitch will be sensational.
"And the move to a Friday-Saturday, day-night format means the stands will be fizzing.
"There's no doubt the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens will be the biggest party in Queensland in 2018.”