Prolific try-scorer Seabelo Senatla returns to the Springbok Sevens squad for the next two tournaments of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Tokyo and Hong Kong, but playmaker Cecil Africa will miss the trip to the Far East because of a troublesome hamstring.

Steven Hunt replaces Afrika, while Senatla comes in for Sampie Mastriet, who is on Vodacom Super Rugby duty with the Vodacom Bulls.

They are the only two changes to the 12-man squad that lost to New Zealand in the Wellington Cup final last month.

Senatla was the leading try-scorer in Las Vegas with six tries as the Springbok Sevens managed to win their second USA title in a row. An ankle injury forced him to miss the Wellington Sevens event two week later in the New Zealand capital.

Hunt last played for the Springbok Sevens in December, when they won the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens tournament and was a stand-out player for the SARU Sevens Academy team that won the Zimbabwe International Sevens in Harare this past weekend.

The Tokyo tournament takes place on 22-23 March - South Africa line up in Pool B at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Ground against Argentina, Kenya and hosts Japan - and will be followed by the three-day Hong Kong event a week later.

“The boys have trained really well for these two tournaments and we are leaving some very good players behind,” explained coach Powell.

“The good competition for places in the squad is motivating the guys not to only play better in tournaments, but also to do just that in each of our training sessions. You start each tournament from scratch, the pool stages are always tough and there will be no room for complacency.”

With just four rounds to play New Zealand are leading the Series standings on 99 points, two ahead of South Africa.

Springbok Sevens squad: Chris Dry, Philip Snyman, Frankie Horne, Kwagga Smith, Werner Kok, Kyle Brown (c), Branco du Preez, Stephan Dippenaar, Justin Geduld, Jamba Ulengo, Steven Hunt, Seabelo Senatla

Two horse race? The Series so far