England Sevens head coach Simon Amor admits his squad selection for the Hong Kong World Series event was made with this summer’s Olympic Games in mind.
England are to combine with the other home nations to produce a Team GB squad for the Olympic rugby sevens competition in Rio.
But in the meantime the players will continue to represent their own countries on the World Sevens Series circuit this season.
And England have named an experienced squad for their latest outing from April 8-10 with Tom Mitchell coming back in as captain while Alex Gray also returns having been rested for the Vancouver tournament.
Worcester Warriors’ Max Stelling is also in line for his debut after recently training with the England Sevens programme.
Amor said: “It is an interesting year as our focus has to be on what is right for both England Sevens and Team GB preparations.
“We have to manage the demands on players and in doing that are giving young guys opportunities as well.
“Max travelled with us to Vancouver and now has his chance to experience playing on the World Series. We have a good relationship with Worcester and are grateful to them for allowing us to work with Max.”
England kick off their tournament on Friday April 8 against South Africa, who currently sit second in the series’ standings, before playing Scotland and Russia the following day.
And Amor added the whole squad was looking forward to hitting the ground running.
“Hong Kong is a brilliant tournament, it is the history and tradition that set it apart, the atmosphere, the whole city comes alive; it is a very unique occasion so the opportunity for anyone to be involved is very special,” he said.
“The ex pat support every time England run onto the field is amazing and the team always want to perform well for them.
“It is a very short turnaround between tournaments at this stage in the season but the squad have worked hard in training this week and we are sending our strongest team available for this exciting and challenging tournament.”