There have been a few but significant changes to both the men’s and women’s squads as Dubai prepares to host its second tournament on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2022.

South Africa will be without the services of Series veteran Muller du Plessis due to the serious leg injury he suffered in round one, but Ryan Oosthuizen has recovered from an ankle knock to take his place in an otherwise unchanged line-up.

In a quirk of the pool draw, the reigning Emirates Dubai 7s champions will face the exact same pool opponents as they look to go back-to-back and kick off the new season with maximum points.

The unstoppable Blitzboks, currently on an 18-game winning streak, have been drawn in Pool A alongside Great Britain, Ireland and Japan.

Great Britain are one of only two teams to name an unchanged squad, but Ireland welcome back Jordan Conroy, the top try-scorer on the 2020 World Series, and Leinster Academy winger Andrew Smith. 

Japan have made the most changes of any team with four, including the return of Kameli Soejima, a veteran of 21 World Series tournaments.

The Blitzboks breezed through their pool first time around in Dubai, racking up 111 points and conceding only 31. But complacency won’t be a problem, insists head coach Neil Powell. “For me, it’s always difficult to play the same opposition twice, because I believe they learn more from you in their defeat,” he explained.

Australia and Canada find themselves paired with the runners-up from the last three World Series events, USA and Kenya. USA reached last weekend’s final and stick with the same 13, while debutant Kevin Wekesea is the only new addition to the Shujaa squad that came second to South Africa in the two tournaments that comprised the 2021 World Series in Vancouver and Edmonton.

Meanwhile, Maurice Longbottom is the only player to miss out for Australia, with his place in a youthful-looking squad taken by Stuart Dunbar.

After missing round one, Canada’s promising playmaker Brennig Prevost gets the chance to show an overseas audience what he is all about having shone on home turf in the Vancouver and Edmonton tournaments last season.

Reigning Olympic champions Fiji are drawn with France for the second tournament running but are now joined by Argentina and Spain in Pool C.

Argentina can now call upon World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Year nominee and top try-scorer at the Tokyo Olympics, Marcos Moneta.

Terio Tamani is the only alteration to the Flying Fijian squad, while France hand Ethan Dumortier a third World Series appearance. Spain’s only change sees World Series debutant Francisco Soriano come in for Alejandro De La Rosa.

From a women’s perspective, France followers will be delighted to see Camille Grassineau’s name in the list of 13 players. The 31-year-old brings with her 30 tournaments' worth of experience as she prepares to make her first World Series appearance since Sydney 2020.

Round one winners Australia give 20-year-old Jakiya Whitfield an opportunity, she comes in for Teagan Levi. But Levi’s sister, Maddison Levi, gets another run out in the green and gold.

Brazil will be looking to build on their best-ever World Series performance with a squad that shows two changes, with Claudia Teles replacing Mariana Nicolau and Thalia Costa coming in for her twin sister Thalita.

Dubai round one runner-up Fiji, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Spain and Russia go with the same 13 players.

Read more: Everything you need to know about the 2022 Series >>