Coach Andy Friend is looking to stamp his authority on a new-look Australian men’s side when the 2016-17 World Rugby Sevens series kicks off in Dubai on Friday.
After inheriting an established line-up from his predecessor Geraint John last year, Friend has overhauled the side since missing a medal at the Rio Olympics.
The former Brumbies Super Rugby mentor has ushered in a host of fresh faces, with Sam Caslick – the older brother of reigning women’s international player of the year Charlotte – among five rookies set for their World Series introduction this weekend.
Warringah centre Michael Adams, Australian under-20s star Simon Kennewell, former NSW Cup rugby league player Charlie Taylor and young gun Tim Anstee are the other debutants in the 12-man squad.
“This is an exciting period for this young group of guys after an intense pre-season,” Friend said.
“This group is showing real potential with a lot of young players really putting their hand up for future opportunities.”
Gone from the squad are NSW Waratahs recruit Cameron Clark, Melbourne Rebels signing Pama Fou and Brumbies pick-up Tom Cusack as they pursue Super Rugby opportunities.
Henry Speight has returned to the Wallabies fold, Nick Cummins is busily promoting his Iconic menswear, while regular captain Lewis Holland is out injured.
Still chasing their elusive first World Series titles, Australia face France, Japan and Kenya in their pool games on Friday.
The all-conquering Australian women’s team were due to open their title defence on Thursday night in Dubai.
The Olympic champions were pooled alongside USA, Russia and South Africa.
Australian men’s team: Sam Myers (capt), Edward Jenkins, Michael Adams, Tim Anstee, Boyd Killingworth, Alex Gibbon, Simon Kennewell, Pat McCutcheon, Samuel Caslick, Henry Hutchison, James Stannard, Charlie Taylor, Connor Mitchell (13th man).
Australian women: Sharni Williams (capt), Shannon Parry (capt), Chloe Dalton, Tiana Penitani, Brooke Anderson, Georgie Friedrichs, Emilee Cherry, Charlotte Caslick, Emma Sykes, Alicia Quirk, Mahalia Murphy, Emma Tonegato.