New Zealand have been named top seeds for sevens rugby at October's Commonwealth Games and should enjoy a comfortable start to the defence of their gold medal.

Heading Pool A, New Zealand have been drawn with world series regulars Scotland and Canada as well as Caribbean champions Guyana for the event which will be held in New Delhi from October 11 to 12.

Guyana made their world series debut this year, appearing in the Las Vegas round.

South Africa, bronze medallists in 2002, head pool B and face three challenging opening ties against reigning World Cup holders Wales, Tonga and India.

Current world series champions Samoa top pool C and face matches on day one against ever-dangerous Kenya, Uganda and Papua New Guinea.

England, the 2006 silver medallists, have Australia, third in this year's world series, Namibia and Sri Lanka in pool D.

New Zealand have won all three rugby sevens gold medals - in 1998 (Kuala Lumpur), 2002 (Manchester) and 2006 (Melbourne) - since the code was added to the games programme.

"I guess it all points to Samoa also starting as favourites when we all travel to Delhi for the Commonwealth Games...," New Zealand coach Gordon Tietjens said on the International Rugby Board's website.

"They're the form team, it will just be interesting to see whether those same players can tread back into sevens and regain that sharpness.

That's a challenge for all the coaches."

Tietjens, whose trial squad includes All Blacks Adam Thomson, Zac Guildford and Brendon Leonard as well as New Zealand Maori wing Hosea Gear, is expected to name his 14-man squad for the games this month.