The squads for round nine of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series have been announced on the eve of the HSBC Paris Sevens.
With many eyes on the Olympic Games in August, there are several changes among the core sides and some familiar names returning to the sevens fold.
Series leaders Fiji have made four changes from their Singapore team, with Samisoni Viriviri, Waisea Nayacalevu, Josua Tuisova and Leone Nakarawa all returning to rugby sevens for the three-day event at Stade Jean Bouin.
Coach Ben Ryan will be hoping Viriviri, a former sevens player of the year, Rugby World Cup 2015 stars Nayacalevu and Nakarawa, and Tuisova, who has scored eight tries for Toulon in this season’s Top 14, will boost his side’s chances of retaining the series title as well as provide further options for Fiji’s road to Rio.
Elsewhere Santiago Cordero and Matias Moroni have been selected by Santiago Gomez Cora, with both players having played four and 11 previous tournaments respectively before being called up to the Los Pumas side to compete at last year’s Rugby World Cup.
For South Africa, Rosko Specman and Francois Hougaard return to Neil Powell’s squad, while there was a late injury replacement this week with Stephen Dippenaar coming in for Justin Geduld.
Having missed the Singapore Sevens Nick Cummins, Ed Jenkins and Cameron Clark come back into the Australia squad in three of five changes alongside 19-year-old Henry Hutchinson, who missed both the Asian rounds, and Jesse Parahi, who makes his first appearance this season having returned from a brief stint in NRL.
Singapore champions Kenya make just two changes, while hosts France have Terry Bouhraoua and Steeve Barry back in their 12-man squad and Kurt Baker will captain the All Blacks Sevens in the absence of Tim Mikkelson, DJ Forbes and Liam Messam. Rieko and Akira Ioane also return to the series after last appearing in the HSBC Sydney Sevens where they helped the All Blacks Sevens win back to back tournaments.