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Squads declared for Hong Kong Sevens and All Blacks Sevens

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irbsevens.com and James Mortimer     22 Mar 2013     Getty Images


FULL SQUAD DETAILS (PDF) >>

In the main 16-team competition, DJ Forbes returns from injury to captain Series leaders New Zealand as they set out to take on USA, Kenya and France, who themselves make a late change with Thibault Zambelli coming into the side.

Former Australia captain James Stannard also makes a welcome return for Michael O'Connor's side as they set out to improve their 11th place in the Series standings, starting with three tough pool matches against South Africa, Argentina and Wales.

Canada, currently one place above the Australians in 10th, have been forced into a late change with Jeff Hassler forced to withdraw injured, replaced by Mike Fuailefau. The Canadians line up in Pool D against hosts Hong Kong, Spain and Fiji, who recall Osea Kolinisau but begin their title defence with only three players who have played in Hong Kong before.

In the fourth and final pool, Dubai champions Samoa recall match-winner Paul Perez to their line-up as they get set for three difficult matches against Scotland, England and Portugal.

12 regional sides battle to keep core team aspirations alive

While the top 16 - the current 15 core teams and Asian champions, Hong Kong - compete in the main competition, 12 regional qualifiers will be looking to keep alive their hopes of gaining core team status on the 2013/14 Series.

To do that they will need to finish in the top four of their 12-team competition in order to book a place in the promotion / relegation play-off finale in London in May.

PRE-QUALIFIER FIXTURES & POOLS >>

Tonga line up in Hong Kong pool play against Uruguay, Tunisia and Chinese Taipei.

Next week's Tokyo hosts Japan will play Georgia and the only two teams making their Hong Kong tournament debuts, Jamaica and Brazil.

Zimbabwe name the most experienced side in the second tier competition, Lucky Sithole their only player not to have played before on the World Series. They line up against Rugby World Cup Sevens hosts Russia, Cook Islands and Mexico.