Brisbane Tens: All you need to know about rugby's newest format




With the Brisbane Tens beginning later today following a successful debut last year, here's a quick rundown of rugby's exciting new format.

Blues legend Spencer will line up for his old side at this weekend's Brisbane Tens.
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You guessed it - it's not quite sevens, but it's not quite full-on 15-a-side rugby either. There's more open space on offer than usual but there are still elements of structure involved, with set piece proving vital in last year's tournament. Tens rugby is made for pacy backs and forwards who believe deep down they can keep up with them.

Spencer says he still backs his footy skills at 42-years-old.
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The four Australian Super Rugby teams, five New Zealand sides and three invitational outfits from the rest of the world - Japan's Panasonic Wild Knights, French side Pau and Fiji - have been drawn into three groups. Each team will play each other once across Friday and Saturday, with the six best-performed teams through to the finals. There is also a full women's tournament for the first time.

Pool A: Blues, Melbourne Rebels, Queensland Reds, Panasonic Wild Knights

Pool B: Chiefs, Highlanders, NSW Waratahs, Pau

Pool C: ACT Brumbies, Crusaders, Fiji, Hurricanes

Women's pool: Queensland Reds, NSW Waratahs, Melbourne Rebels, ACT Brumbies

The Wellington side are taking the pre-season tournament seriously this weekend.
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There is plenty of star power. Current Wallabies Samu Kerevi, Taniela Tupou, Henry Speight, Curtis Rona and Will Genia have been named, although the latter must pass a fitness test on

Friday morning after suffering a back injury. Two former Australian Test players, Berrick Barnes and Digby Ioane, will line up for Panasonic, while another, Ben Mowen, is set to feature for Pau. There's also a handful of capped All Blacks involved too in Julian Savea, Liam Messam, Elliot Dixon, George Moala and Luke Whitelock.

Spencer infamously flipped the bird to the Christchurch crowd in 2004 when the Blues beat the Crusaders 38-29.
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Each team can bring in a retired player as a wildcard and the likes of Drew Mitchell (Waratahs), Andrew Walker (Brumbies), Adam Freier (Rebels), Carlos Spencer (Blues), Carl Hayman (Pau) and Pita Alatini (Highlanders) will at least attempt to prove age has not wearied them.

The Chiefs are the reigning champions, having defeated the Crusaders 12-5 in a thrilling final.

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